Pochettino wants no repeat of Hazard's derogatory Tottenham comments

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino hopes for a fair fight in this season's title race, having been irked by Eden Hazard two years ago.

Chelsea and Tottenham players clash during a 2-2 Premier League draw   -  Getty Images

Mauricio Pochettino does not want a repeat of the inflammatory comments made by Eden Hazard towards Tottenham in its latest fight for the Premier League title.

Chelsea star Hazard stated, "we don't want Tottenham to win the Premier League; the fans, the club and the players," ahead of an ill-tempered 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge in May 2016, a result that ended Spurs' hopes of stopping Leicester City from winning the league.

A run of five consecutive league wins has put Pochettino's side firmly back in the race this season, with leader Liverpool just six points above it at the halfway stage.

And Pochettino hopes there is more of a fair fight in 2018-19, having been stung by remarks such as those made by Hazard two years ago.

"When you are professional, some opinions you cannot make public," the Spurs manager said ahead of their match against Wolves on Saturday.

"Because after, you create a big problem, like what happened at Chelsea. That was more like a battle than a football game.

"Why did that happen? You know very well. That's why it's compulsory to behave professionally. We translate a lot of emotion to the people. We are public persons."

An open race

Pochettino admits there was stronger public support for Leicester's shock title charge in 2015-16 than there was for Spurs, but he does not expect any team to earn any favours in this term's tough battle.

"Now, it is between the top six: Liverpool, Tottenham, [Manchester] City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United and it's going to be more about who can win the league," he said.

"We are not going to receive a favour and nor will another club. It's true, the season when Leicester were there the sympathy for Leicester was bigger than for Tottenham. That was the reality. But they won and they deserved to be the champions.

"The sympathy of the neutral people was more for Leicester than for us. This is normal."

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