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Vertonghen: Tottenham must keep Pochettino

Jan Vertonghen says Tottenham must retain the services of head coach Mauricio Pochettino if they are to move into the elite of world football.

The Argentine coach has turned Tottenham into genuine title contenders this season, with the club seven points off Premier League leaders Leicester City with five games left in the season.

And Vertonghen is keen for Pochettino remain at White Hart Lane to see through the project he has started.

"For me it is vital," the Belgian said. "To keep this thing going, he has to stay.

"Everyone wants him to stay and he feels that we want to fight for him and that this team is the best thing for him so I hope he stays."

Pochettino is the third manager Vertonghen has played under after being signed by Andre Villa-Boas in 2012, before he was replaced by Tim Sherwood.

Vertonghen said Pochettino's will to win is what sets him apart from his predecessors.

"Yeah, and the belief that we’re the best team in the league at the moment," he said.

"If you see the way we play, how dominant we are, how we have the best attack, we have got the best defence.

"We run the most, we have got everything to be up there and the gaffer gives us that belief.

"If I say we are the best team in the league then I am disrespectful towards Leicester. I don’t want to be.

"Normally the best team at this stage in the league are up there, and all compliments to Leicester, but we are very good team.

"The spirit in this team is something special. If you feel the buzz around the club, it’s something I haven’t experienced before in this way."