Pochettino: Knockout stages within Tottenham's reach

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Mauricio Pochettino says the Champions League last 16 will be much closer to Tottenham if they can extend their strong run of form.

Mauricio Pochettino urged his Tottenham players to keep up their recent momentum to claim a win away to Bayer Leverkusen that would put them in prime position to progress from Group E.

Spurs have won five and drawn one of their last six matches in all competitions ahead of Tuesday's Champions League match in Germany.

Pochettino's side are second in the group, one point behind leaders Monaco and one in front of Leverkusen, who they also meet at Wembley on November 2.

The manager told his Spurs squad to ride the momentum of their recent fine form, with the prospect of a victory - which would open up a four-point lead over the Bundesliga side - at the centre of his mind.

"The power of the team is that anyone can play and everyone is fighting for a place in the starting XI," Pochettino said at his pre-match media conference.

"We are in a very good moment and we need to keep that.

"To achieve something it is important to keep that mentality in the squad because the next two games, here and Wembley, will decide the possibility to go to the next round

"It's important that we win. We want to go to the next round, so it's key to take the three points, then to play at Wembley in the same way.

"[Bayer Leverkusen] are a team that we know very well with very good players. It's a team that is normally playing in the Champions League.

"They have good experience but we will see."

Key defender Toby Alderweireld is out with a leg injury that Pochettino does not think is serious, while Kyle Walker (rested) and Harry Kane (ankle) are also absent.

"We believe it is not a big issue," Pochettino said of Alderweireld.

"Now we have to wait for the result of the scan, which he took this afternoon."