Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has said that Liverpool are 'on a completely different level' as he and his squad travel to Anfield on Sunday looking for a result that would help his side to a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Spurs currently sit third in the table, level on points with fourth-placed Manchester United after the Red Devils' win over Watford on Saturday, but the London outfit had been keeping pace with Liverpool and Man City in the title race until recently.
A 2-1 loss at Burnley in February marked the beginning of a downturn in form for Tottenham, who are still in Champions League contention, but Pochettino remains relatively unfazed ahead of a headline match-up on Merseyside.
“You cannot compare [Liverpool and Tottenham],” the Argentine told Sky Sports. “When Klopp arrived at Liverpool it was only about focusing on building a team that could compete and be a real contender with other teams.
“Our philosophy is completely different, we can't compare the two projects. They are on a completely different level. In the last two transfer windows we didn't sign one player – it's like we are banned!
“We are focused on different things, that's why we are different, and we must be focused on operating in different ways and still be competitive as football is the most important thing in this company.
“[Liverpool] have an unbelievable squad and every season they add more quality. So it's normal that Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea are building to win and be real contenders.”
Regardless of the teams' differences, Pochettino is hopeful that the recent international break will have given his players time to recover and reflect on poor results in the top flight as the Premier League edges closer to completion.
“We're disappointed with the way we competed in the last few games,” he said. “There was a disconnection before Burnley and the team couldn't find the right way to fight for the same objective.
“We were a little bit distracted and I hope these three weeks that we didn't play made us think a little bit. We must try again to reconnect and start performing like we need to perform if we want to be real contenders for the Champions League and the Premier League.”