Maddison wants Spurs to mount title push next season

James Maddison is desperate for Tottenham to be involved in the race for the Premier League title next season after missing out on this term’s “amazing” contest for the trophy.

Spurs were top of the table in November but injuries and suspensions hampered their progress and they now find themselves battling for a top-four finish with Aston Villa.

Tottenham are now 11 points behind leaders Arsenal and second-placed Liverpool, with third place Manchester City 10 points ahead of the north London club.

Maddison’s side face local rivals Arsenal later this month before Ange Postecoglou’s men take on Liverpool and City in May.

But Maddison said Tottenham’s focus was on themselves.

“I’ve got no interest to be honest. We’ve got our own goals for the season and I’m not bothered,” Maddison said after Sunday’s 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest that took Spurs fourth, above Aston Villa on goal difference.

“If we end up winning games against teams that are in that race, it makes no difference. We’ve got a job to do.”

The midfielder added: “We are where we are and that is something that gives us good motivation to want to be in the title race next year, seeing how good it is this year.

“For sure, that’s definitely the feeling. That’s filtered down from the manager.

“It’s annoying really, listening to three teams go at it for the title and we’re not in it, especially after the start of the season we had.

“How exciting is the title race this season? It’s amazing, it’s brilliant for a neutral. My friends and family, everyone is locked into the Premier League every week at the minute because it’s such a good title race.

“Frustrating not to be a part of that but we are where we are and we have our own job to do.”

Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest manager Nuno Espirito Santo was left frustrated after Maddison failed to see red.

The Spurs playmaker Maddison was involved in an off-the-ball incident with Ryan Yates in the 44th minute, which ended with the Forest captain on the turf.

Yates called on referee Simon Hooper to review the incident and replays showed Maddison did catch the Forest midfielder in the stomach, but VAR decided against taking any action with the match in the balance at 1-1.

“It doesn’t look like he punched him, he punched him,” said Nuno after a loss that left Forest above the relegation zone on goal difference alone.

“I saw the image and that is why I speak to you. I was surprised that VAR didn’t tell Simon to review it better because honestly with all my respects, Maddison loses his composure and it is a punch in the stomach of Yates.”


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