Qualify for Champions League or we're failures, says Vertonghen
17:04 GMT, 18 January 2013
17:22 GMT, 18 January 2013
Jan Vertonghen says Tottenham will have underachieved if they do not qualify for next season's Champions League – and insists Spurs can win the title in the future if they keep their squad together.
The defender has adapted well to English football and is a firm part of Andre Villas-Boas' regular starting line-up.
Vertonghen, who should play against Manchester United at White Hart Lane told the Evening Standard: 'We have one of the best squads in the League, we’re in the top four now and we can stay there.
Aiming high: Jan Vertonghen says not finishing in the top four is underachieving
'Of course, there are exceptional players elsewhere, Wayne Rooney, Van Persie, David Silva, Sergio Aguero, and at Chelsea as well. But we have 25 very good players, too.
'We can stay together, especially if we’re playing in the Champions League. I hope, one day, we can win the title. We’re capable of it but we need Champions League football to keep the good players here.
'Everyone wants to play in the competition and that’s what you saw with Luka Modric (who joined Real Madrid last summer), I guess. It’s important for the club, not a real disaster if it doesn’t happen, but important for the future.
'It would feel an underachievement if we didn’t do it (finish in the top four).
'We really want to play in the Champions League and I think we have the squad to get there.'
Their bid to re-join Europe's elite was hampered by the news that midfielder Sandro will be out for the remainder of the season.
The Brazilian had surgery on Tuesday after sustaining the injury in last weekend's 0-0 draw at QPR and is expected to miss the next six months.
And Sandro tweeted this picture of his leg following his operation accompanied with a defiant message.
In stitches: Sandro tweeted this picture of his leg on Friday
'I've already overcome many obstacles… This is just one more,' he wrote.
Sandro has played an instrumental role
for Spurs so far this season, but Villas-Boas believes his squad boasts
enough quality to compensate for the midfielder’s absence.
He said: ‘The player is going to be out for the rest of the season. With any injury like that you’re looking at around six months out.
Ruled out: Andre Villas-Boas will miss the dynamic midfielder
‘We were positive regarding his cruciate ligament, even during the initial assessment, because we felt there wasn’t a complete tear, but the ACL ligament and has torn completely; his lateral meniscus, too.
‘I think we will be fine. The only thing
we have done so far is to hold on to our midfielders. Jake’s
(Livermore) possible loan to another club (QPR) isn’t out of the
question, but we will hold on to that possibility. Scott Parker coming
back is a major boost.
Parker’s comeback from an achilles injury has come at a good time, while Spurs will wait until the end of the transfer window to decide whether to allow Livermore and Tom Huddlestone out on loan.