Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino urges players to give more after West Brom loss
WEST BROMWICH, England -- Mauricio Pochettino said Tottenham Hotspur must be more clinical after the 1-0 defeat on Saturday that kept alive West Bromwich Albion's hopes of remaining in the Premier League.
Jake Livermore's added-time goal, scrambled over the line amid a flurry of limbs, moved West Brom to 31 points, ahead of relegated Stoke City, and they can complete the greatest of great escapes if other results go their way and they beat Crystal Palace on the final day of the season.
Spurs dominated at The Hawthorns, having 75 percent of possession and 18 shots to West Brom's nine, but they squandered a host of chances, with Ben Foster saving well from Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen.
The result leaves fifth-place Chelsea just five points behind Spurs with a game in hand, and a frustrated Pochettino called for more from his players in the final two matches of the campaign.
"We need to show more -- more attitude, more quality, more capacity if we want to play for big things," Pochettino said after the game. "In this type of game, when you dominate and you have the capacity to create, you need to show more, and we missed today that quality.
"The key is to be more aggressive and to be clinical in front of goal is our challenge, because I think this type of game, with the chances, possession, the possibility to play in the last third or in the opposite, half, we need to create more -- more one-on-ones, be more aggressive, run forward in behind their defence.
"I think we played like, 'OK, next action we are going to [score]. If we don't score, OK, next, next, next.' I think we need to realise we need to be more aggressive from the beginning and don't wait, and to score if we have the chances, and then manage the game. But it was like, 'OK, we are going [to score] because we are dominating the game.' That is a little bit what punished us."
Chelsea can close the gap to two points with a home win over Champions League finalists Liverpool on Sunday, and they face Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United next week, with Spurs hosting Newcastle and Leicester City.
Pochettino said it was essential for the club to seal Champions League qualification for the third consecutive season but rejected suggestions defeat at The Hawthorns was a wakeup call.
"I think it's so important to finish in the top four, of course," he said. "I think we are in a good position. Of course, disappointed after this result, but we can still achieve to be in the top four. It's still in our hands. We'll see what happens, but of course, it's so important to increase our performance.
"Of course, we're challenging Chelsea and Liverpool and Manchester United for the top four, but I don't believe it's a wakeup call. If we need, after 36 games in the Premier League, someone to say, 'You need to win, you need to give your best, you need to play with the right attitude,' we need to go deeper and assess why. Look in the mirror and say what happened."
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.