Tottenham players still strong despite FA Cup defeat - Mauricio Pochettino

Chelsea more clinical than Spurs - Pochettino

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is not concerned about his side's mental strength following Saturday's FA Cup semi-final defeat by Chelsea, and is confident they can maintain their Premier League title challenge.

Spurs, who trail league leaders Chelsea by four points with six games remaining, lost 4-2 at Wembley.

Tottenham were title contenders for much of last season before their challenge faded late on.

"I am not worried," said Pochettino.

"The team is strong, we are focused. For sure we are disappointed but that is football."

Pochettino, whose side have won their last seven league matches, added: "We congratulate Chelsea and now we try to fight for the Premier League, to try to catch them. That is our objective."

Tottenham's defeat means they have now lost a record seven consecutive FA Cup semi-finals.

It also continued their poor run of form at Wembley.

They have lost seven of the nine games they have played at the national stadium since 2007, winning just two of those.

Spurs could be playing all their home games at Wembley next season while building work continues on White Hart Lane but 45-year-old Argentine Pochettino, who has never won a trophy in his managerial career, believes they were unfortunate to lose on their latest visit.

"We dominated the game but they were more clinical than us," he said.

"I feel proud, we were fantastic in the way we played and in our philosophy.

"We fought a lot, but Chelsea had five shots and scored four goals and we scored only two."

'Momentum now with Chelsea'

Mauricio Pochettino
Former Espanyol and Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino (right) is still waiting to win his first trophy as a manager

BBC Sport's chief football writer Phil McNulty at Wembley:

Tottenham arrived at Wembley assisted by the head of steam built up after closing Chelsea's lead in the Premier League title race to four points - but it was Antonio Conte's side who made the big statement of intent here at Wembley.

Spurs were favourites in many eyes after their recent run of form and two serious stumbles by Chelsea at home to Crystal Palace and away at Manchester United which saw questions posed about their nerve at the season's pressure points.

Chelsea delivered the answer with a mixture of trademark steel and resilience as well as brilliance from Eden Hazard and Nemanja Matic as they scored the goals that settled a wonderful FA Cup semi-final.

Conte played down the significance of Chelsea's win post-match, perhaps to ease pressure on his own players and apply it to Spurs, but this was a victory that carried real weight for the remaining weeks of the season.

Not only did it put Chelsea in the FA Cup final, it delivered a heavy blow to Spurs, who must have been starting to feel invincible given their recent form.

If Chelsea were harbouring doubts after losing at Old Trafford they will be banished by this win and performance, while Spurs have to recover from a defeat that must damage them, despite the defiance of manager Mauricio Pochettino. This was a win of real footballing and psychological significance.

Battle resumes again on Tuesday as Chelsea face Southampton at Stamford Bridge and Spurs travel to Crystal Palace 24 hours later - with momentum now back with Conte and his players.

Next 12 months crucial for Spurs - Shearer

Match of the Day

Former England captain Alan Shearer, in his BBC Sport column:

Trophy-wise, it now looks like Mauricio Pochettino's team will not have anything to show for their season, and I think the next 12 months is going to be a crucial time for the club.

If you go through the Tottenham team, they have one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League - if not the best - in Hugo Lloris, and they certainly have the best defender in Toby Alderweireld.

Dele Alli is one of the most sought-after young players in the world and Kane is one of the best strikers in the Premier League, and with Victor Wanyama and Mousa Dembele in midfield they have one hell of a spine.

But all that talent needs to get over the line in something, soon.

They need to win a trophy next season, otherwise I fear that their top players will look to go elsewhere to get some silverware.

Read Shearer's column in full here

Conte's 'big risk' pays off

Conte 'proud' to reach FA Cup final

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte's decision to bench key players Eden Hazard and Diego Costa for the game raised a few eyebrows pre match but his decision was vindicated as Willian - who started instead of Hazard - scored two goals.

Hazard then came off the bench to put Chelsea 3-2 ahead before providing the assist for Nemanja Matic to score his side's fourth.

"During the season there is a moment as a coach you must take a strong decision. You have to take a risk," Conte said.

"If you win the plan worked, if you don't the responsibility is on you. I think today our plan worked very well.

"Eden and Diego knew very well my plan because in this situation it is important to be clear to all of the players. Now I hope on Tuesday to get a great performance from Eden and Diego.

"I am proud for this achievement. It is great for the players and for me."

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