‘I look up, I don’t look down’: Jose Mourinho insists he is focused on the top-four race – and not Arsenal – ahead of Sunday’s derby… and he claims Tottenham are better than their position in the table
- Tottenham are five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea after three wins in a row
- Spurs can move 10 points clear of rivals Arsenal with victory at the Emirates
- Jose Mourinho claims Spurs are a better side than their league position suggests
- Mourinho has a strong record against Arsenal since arriving in England in 2004
Jose Mourinho wants his Tottenham players to look up at the top four and not down at Arsenal as they prepare for the north London derby.
Spurs have rekindled their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League with three wins in a row to ease them back to within five points of Chelsea in fourth.
Harry Kane and Gareth Bale are in the groove and they can stretch 10 points clear of Arsenal with a victory at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, but are well aware that the turbulence of derby day can disturb such happy rhythms.
Jose Mourinho wants his side to focus on catching the top four as they prepare to face Arsenal
Spurs have won their last three Premier League games to rekindle hopes of a top-four finish
‘I look up, I don’t look down,’ said Mourinho. ‘If Arsenal was seven points ahead of us, I would look to them but because we have seven points more than them, I don’t look down.
‘We always look to the next game and if it was Aston Villa or Newcastle next it would be exactly the same feeling.
‘We feel we are better than the position we have in the table and we want to improve our position so we need points for that.
‘It doesn’t matter the opponent. It doesn’t matter if it is a London derby.
‘The fact is it is the fourth in a row in the Premier League, it’s a Premier League match, three points are there to fight for and that’s what we’re going to try to do.’
Mourinho has a strong record against Arsenal since his arrival in English football in 2004 and would wage war on their former manager Arsene Wenger, but he is more cautious now locked in a more local skirmish.
Mourinho has a strong record against Arsenal, with Spurs beating the Gunners 2-0 this season
‘I want to be respectful,’ said the Spurs boss. ‘I am very proud to be at Tottenham. I have the feeling every day that I work at a big cub.
‘Arsenal is a big club with a big history. A little bit like us, they’re trying to build a better future.’
Ahead of the clash, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta praised Tottenham’s strike force, with Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Gareth Bale all on form.
‘It’s very difficult because the level of quality, precision, understanding and chemistry that they have between them makes them probably one of the most special ones in Europe,’ Arteta said after his side’s 3-1 win against Olympiacos in the Europa League.
‘They don’t need much. They are able to create their own chances, they are able to link as a team.
‘So it is really difficult to do that, but we will prepare the game well to try to stop them obviously.’
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