"Nine points is an unbelievable gap to close, but they also have to play us on more time and they also have to play United and Tottenham twice, and also another game against Chelsea".
In the Bernabeu bearpit on Tuesday with experienced duo Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama unavailable, Pochettino handed central midfield responsibility to 21-year-old Harry Winks with 23-year-old Eric Dier in an anchor role.
Asked if he plans to spring another selection surprise against Liverpool, poker-faced Poch replied: "You will have to wait and see".
Last season, injuries to Harry Kane, Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose derailed Tottenham's autumn but they underlined the newfound strength in the squad with a 1-1 draw at Real Madrid on Tuesday - despite missing Wanyama, Dembele, Dele Alli, Erik Lamela and both left-backs. "Last season was hard to cope with competitions, the Champions League and the Premier League, the polemic about quality, no quality, bench or no bench". That is the big difference.
Despite his candidness, Pochettino insists that he intends to reintegrate the defender back into the first team and although not fit enough for a start against Liverpool, there may be a place when West Ham visit next Wednesday.
"Everyone is pushing up and trying to improve". But before I was very bad?'. We are playing different systems to try to play with characteristics of our players. Now I just enjoy the football we play.
"We are happy that we see a long-term".
"You could see he helped the team in the final few minutes against Real Madrid". "But everyone who saw the City game will know there was not 20 leagues between us".
Tottenham's performance was another example of how much they have progressed since Pochettino took over in June 2014.
Substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with his first Liverpool goal, and Trent Alexander-Arnold completed the rout in the closing stages as the visitors registered their biggest win under manager Juergen Klopp. "We have no clear idea what is going on". "At the moment no decision, we are happy and expect Victor and Moussa to recover". "We are talking to [chairman] Daniel [Levy] and [chief scout] Steve [Hitchin] and we are focused on every position on the pitch, to be vigilant and aware of what we need to do".