It is too early to say Spurs cannot catch top four, says Mauricio Pochettino

• Tottenham already 10 points behind fourth-placed Chelsea
• Hugo Lloris has had elbow surgery and will return in February

Mauricio Pochettino has said Tottenham’s frustrations in the Premier League remind him of those he experienced five years ago at the start of his tenure when he feared he was about to be sacked. The manager goes into Saturday’s home game against Sheffield United with his team in 11th place, having taken 13 points from 11 games and with question marks over whether a clutch of players are to remain a part of his long-term plans.

In early November 2014, when Pochettino went to Aston Villa for a league fixture, Spurs were 14th, with 11 points from the Argentinian’s first nine league matches, and a lineup that included plenty of players he would move on. Pochettino is on record as saying that had Spurs lost he would have been gone. They won 2-1, thanks to a last-gasp Harry Kane goal, which Pochettino credits as being the turning point for him at the club.

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