Mauricio Pochettino insists it is too early to talk about Tottenham as title contenders but believes his side do have enough quality to make the top four. “It is early to start talking about that, there is too far until the end of the season,” Pochettino said. “We have a young squad, we need to develop our way to be consistent. It is true we have shown from the beginning of the season we are consistent but to win the title we need more. “It is step by step. It is difficult to say today what will happen in four or five months. “We need to keep working hard and stay with our feet on the ground.” Tottenham have not finished in the top four since 2012 but Chelsea’s dismal start and Liverpool’s inconsistency appears to have opened up a prime opportunity for Pochettino’s men. “After the game we played tonight I think we have enough quality (to finish in the top four),” Pochettino said. “But football is not about enough quality – it is about mentality and a lot of components. We are in a period that we feel very proud of. “We share the same philosophy and are convinced the way we play is the best in the world. Because of this we feel very proud of them.” Press Association Two goals from Harry Kane and one each from Toby Alderweireld and Kyle Walker helped Spurs thrash West Ham 4-1 on Sunday, a win that equals the club’s record of 12 league matches unbeaten. Manuel Lanzini scored a late consolation for the Hammers. The victory puts Tottenham four points behind surprise table-toppers Leicester, and with Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United all unconvincing in recent weeks, Pochettino’s side seem capable of keeping pace at the top. The one disappointment for Spurs saw Dele Alli pick up a needless yellow card, which means he is suspended for Sunday’s clash with Chelsea. Tottenham were leading 3-0 when Alli became involved in an altercation with Mark Noble after the West Ham midfielder had made an innocuous tap on Kane. “He is young,” Pochettino said. “He plays 10 or 12 games in the Premier League. He is 19. Last week was his first start in the national team. There are a lot of things in his head. “We need to stay calm with him. He has a strong character and every fight he is inside it always. “But he needs to stay calm – the result was 3-0 and he got a yellow card – but he is young and football is about experience to ensure next time he is relaxed.” A 35-year-old man was stabbed outside White Hart Lane ahead of the match. The Metropolitan Police said the victim was stabbed in the abdomen in an incident around the junction of White Hart Lane and Tottenham High Road. He was taken to an east London hospital where his condition was said to be stable.
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