Spurs were the sole challengers to eventual champions Leicester during last season’s run-in, only for their bid to fall away in the closing weeks.
Most neutrals were desperate for Leicester – who had never won the title – to take the crown and complete the perfect underdog story, which they duly did. With Chelsea – one of the most successful English clubs this century – seven points clear of second-placed Spurs this term, Pochettino expects a more even response to the contest.
“Last season, it was: ‘Wow – Leicester!” he said. “At that moment they were the big surprise for everyone – not only in England, but in Europe and the rest of the world. Everyone was excited about them.
“When they won the title, it was an exciting moment for the Premier League and only we and our supporters were sad. The rest of the teams in England were very happy that Leicester were there.
“Last season was very strange and we suffered a lot because we were involved. This year, you have Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool in the top there. That is a normal thing to happen.”
Pochettino also believes that, even if his side cannot catch Chelsea over the remaining nine matches of the season, this campaign and last will stand them in good stead.
Spurs travel to Swansea on Wednesday knowing that if they win and Chelsea lose to Manchester City, the gap will be just four points.
The Spurs boss added: “Today we are in the same position as last season, this time fighting against Chelsea. It is a good thing for us.
“If we are consistent over the next few years we will prepare ourselves to fight, to try to win the Premier League or other titles in the future. That is the first step – to be in the top four consistently. It is a big challenge for us.”