Tottenham Hotspur's exhilarating Premier League title surge came to a shuddering halt as they lost 1-0 at West Ham United on Friday to leave Chelsea needing six points from four games to be crowned champions.
Manuel Lanzini's second-half strike gave West Ham a memorable 1-0 victory over their London rivals in a match Spurs needed to win to keep the pressure on leaders Chelsea.
Said Tottenham Manager Mauricio Pochettino after the loss to the Hammers.
Pochettino added: "We dominated in the first half and were the better team, but at the start of the second half we were a bit sloppy and when you are fighting for the title you must not concede this type of goal".
"We have to play very well if we want to beat this Middlesbrough side because they want to stay in this Premier League".
Speaking on Sky Sports on Friday night, Pardew said: "Tottenham have played the best football but Chelsea have been the best team".
"Our aim was to win every game until the end of the season, that's gone now and from Monday we'll be ready to go again", he told the club website.
Tottenham don't play again until they host Manchester United on May 14 and by then Chelsea, who travel to West Bromwich Albion two days earlier, may already be champions.
"I think you all know that now it is more hard to try to catch Chelsea". It's not about playing well or running around more or less, it's about when you must win, you win.
Tottenham faltered in their quest to catch Chelsea as they suffered a surprise defeat to West Ham.
It should also take the heat off of manager Slaven Bilic whose position has come under pressure this season despite steering West Ham to seventh previous year.
It would take a collapse of epic proportions to give Tottenham fresh hope and, while he insisted his side won't give up, Pochettino acknowledged it is nearly certain Chelsea will finish on top. "That wasn't a problem, the problem was that we didn't perform in the way we usually perform".
"Spurs are a top team, I think they'll be the team to beat in a few years".
"Slaven Bilic has my full backing".