Pochettino vows not to sacrifice Europa League in bid to preserve Premier League title tilt

Ross McLean
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Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United - Premier League
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Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has dismissed suggestions that he could sacrifice the Europa League to concentrate on his side’s bid to secure a first top-flight title since 1961.

Second-placed Spurs closed the gap on Premier League leaders Leicester to two points with victory at rivals Manchester City at the weekend, while they host Crystal Palace in the FA Cup fifth round on Sunday.

The immediate priority is tonight’s Europa League last-32 first-leg tussle against Fiorentina in Italy and Pochettino insists that domestic and European success are not mutually exclusive.

“I can understand, because our position in the table it is a very big opportunity to fight for the Premier League but, for me, when you’re a big club like Tottenham you need to fight in every competition and every game,” he said.

“I don’t think too much into the future. The most important game is tomorrow and the Premier League can wait for a few weeks. When you manage Tottenham, you need to try and win every competition and every game.”

Tottenham will be without goalkeeper Hugo Lloris tonight and against Palace on Sunday after he sustained a shoulder injury during their victory at City. Back-up stopper Michel Vorm is set to deputise.

“It will always impact,” added Pochettino. “Hugo is our captain and it is a very important period for us but how it is important, we know we have a squad and we believe that Michel is a very good, top goalkeeper too, and we believe in him and trust him.”