Son Heung-min's brace capped a swashbuckling 4-0 win over Watford at a buoyant White Hart Lane, with Spurs moving four points behind Chelsea in second before Antonio Conte's men take on Bournemouth in Saturday's late kick-off.
Pochettino's side were in the hunt for the top prize last season before fading as Leicester City marched to improbable glory and the Argentine is enjoying the pressure being off his players.
"We look at us, we need to see us. It's important that we compete against us," he told Sky Sports.
"It is true that we feel free because we are in the second position. The gap is four but they have one game more to play.
"We have to try to win games and be ready if Chelsea fail."
Mauricio: "I'm very happy with the performance. We need to keep pushing. We're in a good position. We have great momentum. Belief is here." pic.twitter.com/yCxHcMRckR— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) April 8, 2017
The freedom Pochettino spoke of was evident as Dele Alli scored a magnificent 33rd minute opener and Eric Dier rifled an unstoppable second before Son took centre stage.
Kieran Trippier's majestic deliveries from the right flank were one among many pleasing features about a Tottenham performance that left their boss purring.
"We played really well. We played with a very good energy, very clear in the way that we tried to beat Watford," Pochettino said.
"I think the team deserve full credit because the energy and the way that we played was fantastic – 4-0 but I think we deserved more goals.
"They [the players] talk for us on the pitch and we are very pleased and very proud of that performance
"Watford started with good energy, massive motivation to play against us, and to be patient was one of the keys.
"After 15 minutes we controlled and dominated the game and the three points are fully deserved."