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Old 04-24-2016, 11:11 PM
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EPL 2015/16: Vardy absence a blow for Leicester, says Pochettino

Jamie Vardy's absence for Premier League leaders Leicester City could have a big impact, says Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino, although he prefers to focus on his side's Monday night clash with West Bromwich Albion.

Tottenham reduced Leicester's lead to five points with a 4-0 victory at Stoke City on Monday, and will hope the Foxes struggle without Vardy when they host Swansea City on Sunday.

"I think that it's a big impact for Leicester because Vardy is one of the best players in the Premier League.

"Sure, it's a big impact for them," Pochettino said at his Friday news conference.

"I am sure they will feel that but they have different players that can play the same way."

Vardy, whose 22 goals is only two shy of the total scored by Tottenham's Harry Kane, is suspended after picking up a second yellow card for diving in the 2-2 draw with West Ham United last weekend. He could face another match on the sidelines pending the outcome of an FA charge of improper conduct.

Tottenham have sustained their strongest title challenge in decades but could need maximum points from their final four games and a Leicester wobble if they are to win their first English league title since 1961.

The form they displayed in dismantling Stoke on Monday, however, suggests they could push Leicester all the way.

"I'm very happy with how we have played in the last four games but we still need to keep working hard and try to win on Monday, that's the objective, to keep fighting for the title," the Argentine said.

"We are close, but it's still a large gap."

Pochettino said playing 24 hours after Leicester for the second week running was not a problem, and that he would watch his title rivals' game with Swansea on television on Sunday.

"We have built up the week in a fantastic way and now we need to be patient and wait for Monday," he said.

"I don't complain, it's not an excuse if we don't win the league. We are happy and just trying to focus on us."
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