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The Sunderland coach is skeptical of the ability of a young Spurs team to challenge for the title and believes they will be more focused on qualifying for the Champions League

Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce does not believe Tottenham have the mentality needed to win the Premier League title this season.

Mauricio Pochettino's men host the Black Cats on Saturday looking to close the seven-point gap between themselves and league leaders Arsenal.

The Argentine has already stated more than once his confidence that his squad can emerge as surprise title contenders but Allardyce is more skeptical of the young Spurs squad's ability to challenge.

“I’m not sure they can hold their nerve,” he told reporters. “Brendan Rodgers couldn’t hold his nerve with Liverpool to win the title a couple of years ago.

“Just when they needed to be resilient, they [Liverpool] couldn’t quite do it. And that can be down to that lack of experience which you need in order to win it.


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“Listening to my old mentor, Sir Alex Ferguson, the hardest one to win for your players is always the first one – particularly when they’re as young as Tottenham’s.

“It would be nice if they did do it but I think their main aim is to finish in the Champions League.”

The England national team has benefitted from an influx of talent coached by Pochettino at both Tottenham and Southampton in recent years but Allardyce believes more credit is due to those two clubs's recruitment policies.

He said: “It’s only because Tottenham have recruited so many good English players, isn’t it? You’re talking about two very, very good recruitment policies with a very good manager.

“Southampton’s youth policy is exceptional while Tottenham are finally getting it right more often than wrong, particularly with the buying of young talent.

“And while Southampton have sold theirs, Tottenham look like they are keeping hold of theirs this time.

“Great talent with a good manager is the perfect combination – and you can only become a good manager with good players.”

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