December 30, 2016 / 2:38 PM / 7 months ago

Tough for Tottenham to catch Chelsea, says Pochettino

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Britain Soccer Football - Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League - St Mary's Stadium - 28/12/16 Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Southampton manager Claude Puel Action Images via Reuters / Matthew Childs Livepic

(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino says his team are more focused on getting into the Premier League's top four than chasing down leaders Chelsea.

Tottenham, in fifth, are a point behind fourth-placed Arsenal and 10 adrift Chelsea after 18 games going into Sunday's match against 10th-placed Watford.

"For us the most important game is Watford to try and reduce the gap on the top four. We need to be focused on Watford that's the most important thing for us," Pochettino told reporters on Friday.

"Chelsea are a long way ahead. It will be tough for all the contenders. They have a good gap to second and 10 points to us but we'll fight to reduce the gap."

Pochettino's comments came shortly after his Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger said the league title was "Chelsea's to lose".

Spurs host Chelsea on Wednesday.

"It's only half the season gone, there is a long way ahead and we'll have a good opportunity when we play them but first we must beat Watford," Pochettino said.

Defender Toby Alderweireld, who missed this week's 4-1 victory over Southampton due to illness, is set to return to the squad for the trip to Watford.

"Toby Alderweireld picked up a virus the day before Southampton. He has recovered now and we're hopeful he will be available," Pochettino said.

Pochettino does not expect any major transfer activity at White Hart Lane in the January window following media reports linking Tottenham with Everton's Ross Barkley and Real Madrid midfielder Isco.

Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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