Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho is not concerned with the north London power battle with Arsenal and is only looking up in the table.
Spurs head to the Emirates Stadium on Sunday seven points ahead of their rivals and a win would go a long way to ensuring they finish above them in the league for a fifth successive year.
Mourinho, however, is focused only on ensuring his side remain in the battle for the top four and not where the Gunners are in the table. ‘I look up, I don’t look down,’ he said.
‘If Arsenal was seven points ahead of us, I would look to them. But because we have seven points more than them, I don’t look down.
‘But at the same time, we look always to the next match. And if instead of Arsenal it was Villa or Newcastle, the next matches we’re going to play, exactly the same feeling.
‘We feel we’re better than the position we have in the table and we want to improve our position so we need points for that. It doesn’t matter the opponent, doesn’t matter if it is a London derby – in fact it’s the fourth 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.’
Mourinho has a long history with Arsenal, having shared a long and, at times, bitter rivalry with their former boss Arsene Wenger, while a new chapter has emerged since his arrival at Spurs in 2019.
He has won both of his north London derbies as Tottenham boss so far, both at home, but respects the Gunners and what they are trying to achieve.
‘I want to be respectful, I don’t want to go in that direction,’ he said. ‘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. 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.’