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Mourinho denies Everton game is must-win in race for the top four

Jose Mourinho has denied that Tottenham’s clash with Everton on Friday is a must-win fixture in the club’s pursuit of a top-four finish and Champions League football.

Spurs travel to Everton tomorrow evening in a huge clash between two sides with aspirations of reaching Europe’s elite, the two teams separated by just a single point and amongst a congested chasing pack outside the Champions League places.

Mourinho’s side were beaten at home by Manchester United last weekend and can ill-afford any more slip-ups during the Premier League’s run-in, the north London side currently six points adrift of fourth-placed West Ham.

Despite that gap, Mourinho has downplayed talk his side will be out of the race with defeat on Merseyside, insisting there are plenty of points left to play for as the season reaches its conclusion.

“We’re very close to each other, but there are more clubs,” Mourinho told his pre-match press conference.

“Some with more points, some with less, but still with more than 20 points on the table I think it’s still open.

“This kind of match stops the loser getting the points, so understandably I don’t think anything will be decided there, but if one of the two teams wins, they get an advantage that can be important in the direct duel – not in relation to the others around.”

Mourinho did, however, insist the upcoming period is a huge one in his side’s season, with the trip to Everton followed by a home clash with Southampton and the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City next weekend.

“A big nine days, and they’re going to end with a cup final, which for all of us is going to be an important moment,” he added.

“We are not depending on the Goodison result to go with the best feeling to the final, but the final is still a little bit far.

“The Goodison match is very important. The distance between the teams is short, they have one match in hand. They have similar objectives. They are going to fight with us and other clubs to try [and get] the best possible position. We need to focus totally on a very difficult match.”

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