Jose Mourinho took a veiled dig at Tottenham’s north London rivals Arsenal by insisting he pays no attention to who is below his side in the table.
Spurs head into Sunday’s north London derby sitting in seventh in the table, seven points and three places above the Gunners.
Mourinho’s side are looking to make up ground in the race for the top four, and it appears the sides above Spurs in the table are who he sees as challengers.
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"I look up, I don't look down,” Mourinho said. “If Arsenal were seven points ahead of us, I would look to them. But because we have seven points more than them, I don't look down.”
Mourinho has insisted he is treating the north London derby as he would any other game. Spurs head to the Emirates having not beaten the Gunners in the league on their own patch since 2010.
"We look always to the next match and if instead of Arsenal it was (Aston) Villa or Newcastle, the next matches we're going to play, exactly the same feeling,” he said.
It doesn't matter (who) the opponent (is), doesn't matter if it's a London derby. In fact it's the third in a row in the Premier League. It's a Premier League match, three points are there to fight for and that's what we're going to try to do."
After trailing in Arsenal's dust for years, Spurs have managed to finish above them in the past four seasons but Mourinho refused to be drawn on whether the balance of power had shifted in north London.
"I don't want to go in that direction. I'm very proud to be at Tottenham, I have the feeling every day that I work at a big club, but in spite of the rivalry between us and Arsenal I want to be respectful," he said.
'I want to be respectful' - Mourinho downplays heated Arsenal-Spurs rivalry
"Arsenal is a big club with a big history, a little bit like us they're trying to build a better future. I have total respect for them."
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