LONDON: Harry Winks insists Tottenham still have a chance of gate-crashing the Premier League title race as they prepare to host Leicester on Sunday.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side go into this weekend’s fixtures trailing five points behind leaders Manchester City and second placed Liverpool.
But, while most pundits see third placed Tottenham as outsiders, they have won their last three league games to remain in touch with City and Liverpool.
And, as City have shown by erasing Liverpool’s seven-point lead over them, there are likely to be plenty of twists to come in the final weeks of the season.
Winning the English title for the first time since 1961 would be a miraculous achievement given Tottenham haven’t signed a single player in the last two transfer windows.
Yet, with City and Liverpool still to face the north Londoners later this season, Winks is adamant they can’t be counted out yet.
“We lost to Wolves and people said that we were out of the title race and it’s time for us to get top four and then we won against Newcastle and people say we are back in it,” Winks said.
“We don’t really get involved in that whirlwind, all we do is take it game by game and focus on the next opposition.
“At the end of the season we will be looking into that and see where the title is.
“We have still got Man City and Liverpool to go to, they are two games that if we want to be title contenders we have to win.
“For now we are happy with the position we are in, we are doing really well and that is the most important thing.”
Delivering a series of composed displays in midfield, Winks has been key to his team’s ability to cope with injuries to his England team-mates Harry Kane and Dele Alli.
Kane is on course to return ahead of his scheduled March comeback according to Pochettino, but he and Alli will miss Leicester’s visit to Wembley.
That keeps the focus on Winks, as well as creative catalysts Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-min, to drive Tottenham’s title bid.
The 23-year-old admits his breakthrough season has exceeded expectations as he has shrugged the ankle injury that bugged him at the start of the campaign.
“It’s been fantastic, since the beginning of the season, I set some aims, I set some goals and that was just to play as many games as possible and stay fit all season and it has been good so far,” he said.
“I have played a lot of matches, which is what I wanted and hopefully fingers crossed I will stay injury free. It has been everything I wanted since the beginning of the season.”
Leicester will travel to Wembley with speculation continuing about the future of under-fire manager Claude Puel.
Puel’s side have lost three of their previous four league games and over the last six matches, only bottom club Huddersfield have earned fewer points than Leicester’s tally of four.
Puel was this week forced to deny reports that Leicester striker Jamie Vardy was upset the French coach was seen talking to Manchester United’s Paul Pogba on the pitch straight after last weekend’s loss.
“I have a good relationship with him. We know Jamie, after he lost he is angry, it’s normal for a player,” Puel said.
“If I thought one of my players was disrespectful to me or the club there would be a sanction but that was not the case.”