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Mauricio Pochettino called for an end to “stupid rumours” casting doubt on his Chelsea future after his team hauled themselves firmly into Europa League contention with Thursday’s 2-0 win over Tottenham.

Victory at Stamford Bridge moved the Argentinian’s side to within three points of the top six and what would likely be a qualifying berth for Europe’s secondary competition.

With another home game to come on Sunday against West Ham there is a sense of momentum building around Pochettino’s squad, which this season is the youngest in the Premier League.

Some reports had suggested European qualification would be a prerequisite if the 52-year-old is to survive into the second half of the two-year deal he signed last summer, after pressure grew in the wake of the 5-0 hammering by Arsenal at the end of April.

But after Champions League-chasing Spurs were comfortably dispatched in west London, there was renewed bullishness to Pochettino’s reflections on his future.

“(The task) is to prove after all these circumstances (injuries) that we deserve to be here next season,” he said. “Who is going to judge me? We need to judge ourselves.

“Enough with this type of rumours. If I have one year more on my contract here, and no one says nothing, suppose I am going be here. (Unless) we finish the season and someone says to me ‘ciao’.

“We don’t know at the moment. I have one year more (on my) contract. But enough about stupid rumours. You need to ask the club if they want me to keep going or not, not to write things that have no sense.”

Chelsea’s response to the mauling at the Emirates Stadium, where they were accused by supporters in the away section of lacking fight, has been admirable, recovering from 2-0 down away at fourth-placed Aston Villa to salvage a draw in their next outing.

Against rivals Spurs they achieved one of their more commanding home wins under Pochettino, goals in either half from Trevoh Chalobah and Nicolas Jackson sealing three vital points as they inserted themselves into the Europa League conversation.

They have lost only three times in the league since Christmas Eve and, with eight wins from their last 16 games, there is a sense that the team is responding to their manager’s methods after a poor start.

Trevoh Chalobah
Trevoh Chalobah, right, headed Chelsea’s first goal in their 2-0 win over Tottenham at Stamford Bridge (John Walton/PA)

“If we talk about performances, I think for sure we are in the top four,” said Pochettino. “The results and competing is different and I agree that (at the start of the season) we didn’t compete well. But talking about performances I think we are in the top six for sure.”

After West Ham, the Blues finish the campaign with games away at Nottingham Forest and Brighton before rounding off against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on the final day.

“Now its about keeping the same mentality for Sunday,” said Pochettino. “We are going to play a team that is so strong physically. They’re having a fantastic season also, competing in Europe.

“For us, we need to recover players, we don’t have too many options. They (West Ham) have had the whole week to prepare the game. The most dangerous games are coming.”