Tag Archives: tottenham

Heurelho Gomes begins his recovery from injury

Water way to rehab: Spurs keeper Gomes starts injury recovery in swimming pool

By
Jon Harvey

PUBLISHED:

14:46 GMT, 18 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:58 GMT, 18 April 2013

Tottenham's Heurelho Gomes has begun his recovery from the broken hand injury he picked up while on loan at German side Hoffenhiem.

The 32-year-old Brazilian underwent surgery to have four pins inserted into his broken left hand after a collision with Andreas Lambertz in Friday's win over Dusseldorf.

Gomes, who joined Spurs in 2008 from PSV, will be out for eight weeks and will remain at the Bundesliga side for his rehabilitation.

Rehab: Heurelho Gomes begins his recovery from a broken hand injury

Rehab: Heurelho Gomes begins his recovery from a broken hand injury

Gomes had impressed for the German club on a six-month loan deal in January before the injury, conceding nine goals in nine games.

He found his opportunities limited at White Hart Lane after being relegated relegated to fourth
choice thanks to the arrivals of Hugo Lloris and Brad Friedel over the
last two years.

Despite
the departure of Carlo Cudicini, Gomes is still unlikely to get any game
time at Spurs next season and he may leave the club in the summer.

Frozen out: Heurelho Gomes has found his first-team chances limited at Spurs

Frozen out: Heurelho Gomes has found his first-team chances limited at Spurs

His Spurs deal currently runs to 2014, but his former club PSV might ready to rescue him.

PSV director Marcel Brands said: 'Two years ago Tottenham wanted 8million. Maybe that’s changed.'

.

Liverpool having better season than last year – Glen Johnson

No trophies and seventh in the league… but Johnson insists Liverpool have improved

By
Dominic King

PUBLISHED:

06:15 GMT, 9 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

06:15 GMT, 9 April 2013

Glen Johnson insists Liverpool's season has been 'clearly better' than the last campaign which ended with them winning a trophy and qualifying for Europe.

Liverpool, whose hopes of top six finish were dented by a 0-0 draw with West Ham, never threatened to repeat their exploits of last year in knockout football when they reached both domestic cup finals, winning the League Cup against Cardiff.

Bar a huge turn of events, it is almost certain they will miss out on a place in the Europa League next year, too, as they are running out of games to overhaul Arsenal, Tottenham and Everton.

Luis Suarez

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard

Woe: Liverpool failed to break down a dogged West Ham defence at Anfield last weekend

Johnson, though, is adamant that Liverpool – who are set to surpass the points tally of 52 they accrued 12 months ago – have made far greater progress under Brendan Rodgers than the Barclays Premier League table would suggest.

'I wouldn't say it (has been) so close but so far,' said the England right-back. 'It is clearly a better season than last season. Brendan is looking to improve the squad and we have got a better squad than we did have. He will look to improve again in the summer.

'If we can nick the goals we need from games (like against West Ham), we will be right in amongst it (next season).'

When asked why he felt it was a 'clearly better season', Johnson replied: 'It's a few things. You look at the squad, the feeling that there is around the place, the football that we are playing – 8 times out of 10, we have been battering teams.

Past glories: Liverpool won the Carling Cup last season but will finish this campaign without a trophy

Past glories: Liverpool won the Carling Cup last season but will finish this campaign without a trophy

'That wasn't the case last season. We won a trophy last season and, of course, that was fantastic. Everyone wants to win. That's what we are in the game for. But in terms of getting Liverpool back where they belong, we want to be back in the top four.'

Johnson, who has been one of Liverpool's most consistent performers under Rodgers, believes it is vital for the club's critics to look at this season in isolation, as he is adamant there will be significant improvement when things are fully settled.

'Brendan was brought in to rebuild the squad and put Liverpool back into the places that it should be (as a club),' said Johnson. 'He wants to put us back in the top four but he wasn't asked to do that in his first season. This season has been a step closer to that.

Main man: Glen Johnson (centre) praised manager Brendan Rodgers for his impact at the club

Main man: Glen Johnson (centre) praised manager Brendan Rodgers for his impact at the club

'Everyone – players, staff, fans – would love us to be back in the top four but if we improve on last season then it is a step in the right direction. We are still pretty close to the top four. If we can start nicking games like West Ham, we are going to be right in amongst it.'

Meanwhile, Liverpool target Toby Alderweirled has stated that he would prefer a move to Anfield this summer. The Belgian defender is expected to leave Ajax and has been courted by a number of English clubs, including Newcastle and Everton.

'I do not want to play for an English club in mid-table,' said Alderweirled. 'Unlike Newcastle, Liverpool meets my criteria.'

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Gareth Bale injury latest: Tottenham to use blood-spinning technique to speed up Welshman"s return

Spurs banking on blood-spinning remedy to get star man Bale back in double-quick time

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

22:02 GMT, 8 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:41 GMT, 9 April 2013

RACE FOR TOP FOUR – AS IT STANDS

TOP FOUR

Click HERE for the full Premier League table

Tottenham are putting their faith in the once controversial blood-spinning technique to speed up Gareth Bale's recovery from an ankle injury.

Bale's season looked to be over last Thursday after the Welshman sustained a serious looking ankle injury in Spurs' 2-2 draw against Basle.

But after a scan on Friday, it emerged
that Bale would only miss two games – Sunday's 2-2 draw against Everton
and the Europa League quarter-final second leg clash in Switzerland on
Thursday night.

Scroll down for Premier League highlights

Scare: Gareth Bale was stretchered off against Basle at White Hart Lane

Scare: Gareth Bale was stretchered off against Basle at White Hart Lane

Crucial: Bale has scored 17 league goals for Tottenham this season

Crucial: Bale has scored 17 league goals for Tottenham this season

Manager Andre Villas-Boas is understandably keen to have Bale fit again as quickly as possible and club doctors will use the blood-spinning method to aid his recovery from injury as Tottenham look to get their star man back on the field for the visit of Manchester City on April 21.

The technique, which was also used on Jermain Defoe earlier in the season as he struggled to overcome a pelvic injury, involves a small sample of a person's blood being injected out of the body before it is spun to increase the concentration of the growth hormone.

The blood sample is then injected into the athlete's problem area which can help an injury heal five times faster.

Blood-spinning first came under the spotlight in 2005 when Chelsea, then managed by Jose Mourinho, were warned by the World Anti-Doping Agency that their use of the method to speed up Arjen Robben's recovery from injury may be illegal – but it is now more commonly used in sport.

Meanwhile, there was better news on the injury front for Tottenham on Monday night as Younes Kaboul made his long-awaited return from a knee injury.

The French defender has not played since the opening-day defeat by Newcastle, but he is on course to play a part in Spurs' crucial Premier League run-in after making his return to action against West Ham Under 21s on Monday.

Back: Younes Kaboul (right) made his long-awaited return from injury on Monday night

Back: Younes Kaboul (right) made his long-awaited return from injury on Monday night

VIDEO: Watch highlights of Tottenham's 2-2 draw against Everton

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Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez says Blues" fans offer him support when they meet him

'Rafa, we love you really!' Benitez insists he has plenty of support on the street as Chelsea fans finally offer him backing

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

15:41 GMT, 8 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:23 GMT, 8 April 2013

Unpopular Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez believes Blues supporters do love him really — at least they tell him that when they bump into him in the street.

The interim manager at Stamford Bridge has had to endure almost consistent hostility from the club’s faithful, but he says it isn’t the same in the streets.

Benitez told Spanish newspaper Marca: ‘I spend most of my time here at the Cobham training centre and almost never go into London. And I have to say this – people are very civil to me out on the streets. Many Blues fans stop me and tell me to keep on plugging away and not to listen to the critics. I have a lot more day-to-day support than is shown, and people think.’

Favourite Rafa Benitez says that Chelsea fans tell him they like him when they meet in the streets

Favourite Rafa Benitez says that Chelsea fans tell him they like him when they meet in the streets

Out: Benitez may not have met the majority of Chelsea fans who have been calling for his head

Out: Benitez may not have met the majority of Chelsea fans who have been calling for his head

Soldiering on: Chelsea are still in with a chance of winning both the FA Cup and the Europa League

Soldiering on: Chelsea are still in with a chance of winning both the FA Cup and the Europa League

He also believes this Chelsea side — who are enjoying a run of form under the Spanish manager — are in a period of transition.

He
added: ‘We do have a squad which is a bit thin in some areas. People
still think that this is the Chelsea of Drogba, Essien or Lampard at its
finest. But now it is a side in transition, with Hazard, Mata, Oscar,
Marn and Moses. They are young players who have to adapt. We are moving
away from a physical side like the old one to a team which is much more
technical.’

Meanwhile,
Benitez knows Chelsea’s Champions League fate could hinge on the
Barclays Premier League clash with Tottenham but is relaxed about the
twists and turns in the race for the top four.

Respect: Rafa Benitez embracing new Sunderland's boss Paolo Di Canio before the game on Sunday

Respect: Rafa Benitez embracing new Sunderland's boss Paolo Di Canio before the game on Sunday

Evolution: Benitez says the new era of Chelsea revolves around Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar

Evolution: Benitez says the new era of Chelsea revolves around Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar

A win for Arsenal on Saturday saw last season’s Champions League winners Chelsea in fifth ahead of their match with Paolo Di Canio’s Sunderland yesterday.

But the Blues returned to third with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory at Stamford Bridge, moving above Tottenham on goal difference after Spurs were held to a draw by sixth-placed Everton.

'We knew that we had to win and especially because they (Tottenham and Arsenal) will continue winning,' Benitez told Chelsea TV.

'The main thing for me is the big picture, so keep calm. We have a good team, if we perform at our level we can win against anyone.

'You have some bad games and good games but it will be the same for them.

'We have to carry on. We have one game in hand on Tottenham so if we can do well, especially against them, maybe it’s a game that can mean six points.'

A date for the Tottenham fixture is still to be determined after Chelsea’s progress to Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City forced the game to be rearranged.

Should Chelsea confirm their place in the Europa League semi-finals by completing an aggregate victory over Rubin Kazan on Thursday, the window of opportunity for the Spurs fixture will be small and it will likely take place in the first week of May.

Premier League team news for April 6-8

All the Premier League team news ahead of the weekend

PUBLISHED:

07:51 GMT, 5 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:53 GMT, 5 April 2013

Sportsmail brings you the latest squad news on every Barclays Premier League team as it breaks ahead of another action-packed weekend.

Simply click on your team (when it appears in blue) in the fixture list below to find out who is injured and who is back in action…

Resistance: Heavy rain this winter will be no problem for the Maxim

SATURDAY

Reading v Southampton 12.45pm

Norwich v Swansea 3pm

Stoke v Aston Villa 3pm

West Brom v Arsenal 3pm

SUNDAY

Liverpool v West Ham 1.30pm

Tottenham v Everton 2.05pm

Chelsea v Sunderland 3pm

Newcastle v Fulham 3pm

QPR v Wigan 4.10pm

MONDAY

Manchester United v Manchester City 8pm

Brad Friedel believes Tottenham"s tough run in will hlep their chance to qualify for the Champions League

Spurs' tough schedule will help their Champions League bid, says Friedel

By
Laura Williamson

PUBLISHED:

21:45 GMT, 31 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:57 GMT, 1 April 2013

Brad Friedel believes Tottenham’s tough April schedule will benefit their bid to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Spurs moved into third place with their 2-1 win at Swansea on Saturday but must play Everton, Chelsea and Manchester City in the next three weeks, as well as a two-leg Europa League quarter-final against FC Basel.

Friedel, though, believes his side rise to the occasion against teams in the top half of the table. Home draws against the likes of West Bromwich Albion, Norwich and Stoke, as well as defeats by Wigan and Fulham, have, after all, stunted Tottenham’s progress this season.

Scroll down to watch the highlights

Tough schedule: Spurs goalkeeper Brad Friedel believes Tottenham's players will rise to the challenge in the run in

Tough schedule: Brad Friedel believes Tottenham's players will rise to the challenge in the run in

The goalkeeper said: ‘We have some tough Premier League games coming up and I think that is much better for us. The bigger the game, the more the players will step up to the plate.

‘It might be nervy for the people who think about it and watch it but in-house we know what we want to do. There are no nerves hanging around the training ground.’

On fire: Gareth Bale (right) scores with a stunning strike against Swansea

On fire: Gareth Bale (right) scores with a stunning strike against Swansea

This was a vital win for Andre Villas-Boas’ side although it took a last-minute tackle from Gareth Bale to prevent Nathan Dyer scoring an equaliser after Michu led a spirited Swansea fight-back in the second half. A loss — or even a draw after establishing a 2-0 lead with two stunning goals from Jan Vertonghen and Bale inside 21 minutes — and Friedel admitted Tottenham’s Champions League hopes could have been over.

The goalkeeper, 41, started his first Premier League game since November to allow Hugo Lloris to protect a slight knee injury he sustained on international duty with France. Friedel will play again against Basel on Thursday, but Lloris is expected to resume training on Monday.

Friedel said: ‘If we had given away a two-goal lead, psychologically it would have hurt. There would have been no denying that. It was very important that we won today (Saturday).

Vital: The win over Swansea was an important three points for Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas

Vital: The win over Swansea was an important three points for Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas

‘It was a massive three points. The week we had before the international break where we had the three losses (against Liverpool, Inter Milan and Fulham) meant this was a huge, huge win for us. To top it off Chelsea lost which makes it an even better weekend.’

Bale added: ‘It was important for us to get a win because it was important to stop the rot and try and kick on and make our season as good as possible. It was a great result for us today so hopefully we can keep this run going now. We’re still in the running for our objectives and hopefully we can fulfil them.’

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Arsene Wenger hails Gervinho after Arsenal beat Reading

Wenger hails Gervinho as Arsenal stay in the hunt for Champions League place

By
Jim Van Wijk, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

20:44 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:44 GMT, 30 March 2013

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hailed the confident display of Gervinho after the Ivory Coast forward set the Gunners on the way to a 4-1 win over relegation-battlers Reading which kept them in the hunt for Champions League qualification.

Gervinho has often cut a controversial figure among supporters following a string of frustrating displays following an 11million move from Lille in July 2011.

However, the 25-year-old was on the money this afternoon, opening the scoring on 11 minutes and having a hand in everything positive as Arsenal eventually broke the Royals stubborn resistance again at the start of the second half when Santi Cazorla sweeping home. Olivier Giroud added a third following a quick break by Gervinho.

Key role: Gervinho was praised by Arsene Wenger following his performance against Reading

Key role: Gervinho was praised by Arsene Wenger following his performance against Reading

Hal Robson-Kanu headed in a consolation for Nigel Adkins' men, but there was to be no recovery to mark their new manager's first match in charge as Mikel Arteta's penalty made sure Arsenal closed up on Chelsea in the race for fourth-spot and also remained within striking distance of Tottenham, on whom they hold a match in hand.

'Gervinho's performance was very strong. He was always dangerous, always looked like he could score, gave assists and scored himself,' Wenger said.

'I believe that sometimes Gervinho has lost confidence because he played in a very negative atmosphere during a period. Strikers need confidence, and [with] his game, even more.

Winning feeling: Gervinho celebrates with team mate Bacary Sagna after the 4-1 victory

Winning feeling: Gervinho celebrates with team mate Bacary Sagna after the 4-1 victory

'He was always taking the ball and going forward, and provoking. When you lose confidence, that is a very dangerous game then.

'When he has found the confidence back, he's a very dangerous player.

'At the African Nations Cup, for me he was the best striker there. He is the type of player who is difficult to find, because they always go at people.'

Wenger was pleased with the final result for his side, who have now won six of their last eight league games and also won 2-0 away over Bayern Munich in the Champions League, although still bowing out of Europe.

'I enjoyed our technical side, our creative side, our spirit and how disciplined and focused we were,' said Wenger.

Mind the gap: Arsene Wenger fighting for Champions League qualification

Mind the gap: Arsene Wenger fighting for Champions League qualification

'The regret you have is that there were more goals in this game than the number of goals we scored.

'Overall, it's a good basis to finish the season well. Let's just keep that spirit, that attitude and play the football we want to play.'

Wenger called for his side to keep their performances high over the run-in, with little margin for error if they are to gatecrash the top four once again.

'What we do is we look at the table and we are still behind Chelsea and Tottenham. We are not in a calculation mode,' he said.

'We can just win our next game and continue to do what we do at the moment.

'We are on a run so let's take care of the quality of our game and that run. After, we'll see where we stand.

On target: Gervinho was on the scoresheet

On target: Gervinho was on the scoresheet

'It (Champions League qualification) will be less predictable than it was predicted. We have a word to say in that and we want to give our best to do it.'

For Reading, meanwhile, the outlook is not so positive as the defeat sent them bottom of the table on goal difference, some seven points adrift of safety.

However, with a home clash against former club Southampton, Adkins is not about to throw in the towel just yet.

He said: 'We have had a bit of a fragmented week with the change, and players away on international duty, trying to get to grips with where we want to go and what to do is going to be challenging.

'We wanted to get something here, but didn't. Arsenal kept the ball very well.

'We will analyse it now, debrief back with the players, take the lessons from it and work very hard on the training ground for the next one.

'You can't change everything straight away, but we will all work hard together to give us a chance in the next game.'

Adkins added: 'The spirit is there in the group, and all we can do is take it one match at a time – there here and now is putting this one to bed, working hard over the course of the week for the next one.'

David Moyes: We"re contenders in the race for Champions League after Stoke victory

We're contenders in the race for Champions League, insists Moyes with rivals firmly in his sights after victory over Stoke

By
Carl Markham, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

21:02 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:03 GMT, 30 March 2013

Everton manager David Moyes believes his side are still well in the reckoning for Champions League qualification after a 1-0 victory at home to Stoke.

The match was decided by Kevin Mirallas' scintillating 70-yard run and finish in the first half and built on the morale-boosting win over champions Manchester City a fortnight ago.

It lifted the Toffees to within four points of fourth-placed Chelsea and, with Tottenham in third to play next week, there is further opportunity to put a dent in their rivals' chances.

Form: David Moyes' side recorded their third straight league win on Saturday

Form: David Moyes' side recorded their third straight league win on Saturday

'I am nearly as pleased with that result as I was with the one against Manchester City a fortnight ago,' said Moyes, whose side had not beaten the Potters since October 2010.

'We have not got a great record against Stoke so it was great to get over the line.

'It is great that we are going into April and people are still talking about Everton having a chance of a Champions League spot.

'Okay, it is a big call and a long way away but we are in with a chance and what we will try to do is finish as high up the table as we can.

'We believe we are in there. I don't think we have ever been out of it.

Stunning: Kevin Mirallas ran 70 yards before slotting the ball past Asmir Begovic to give Everton the lead

Stunning: Kevin Mirallas ran 70 yards before slotting the ball past Asmir Begovic to give Everton the lead

Congratulations: Mirallas celebrates his wonder goal with team-mate Victor Anichebe

Congratulations: Mirallas celebrates his wonder goal with team-mate Victor Anichebe

'We are hanging in there and are underdogs in terms of getting it, but we have those teams to play and we will go and give it a go.

'We have been close all season, we have matched most teams this year so we will try to do it again.
“Spurs are in a much stronger and healthier position than us, but we have been there or thereabouts most of the season and we'll not be too far away.'

Moyes was grateful to Mirallas' sixth goal of the season, but only his third in the league, for securing the three points.

'It was a great individual goal,' added the Scot.

Sublime: Kevin Mirallas (centre) was praised after his 'great goal secured all three points for the Toffees

Sublime: Kevin Mirallas (centre) was praised after his 'great goal secured all three points for the Toffees

'Sometimes against Stoke that is what you need, an individual who can take on people and thankfully he did it from about 70 yards out.'

Stoke have now won just once in 12 league matches and are only four points above the relegation zone despite their 13th-place position.

'I thought the last two away games, Newcastle and here, we have deserved something out of the game and it is just disappointing,' he said.

'You can't fault the players' commitment. I thought we played some good football at times and I don't think the players get the credit for the football we do play.

'We had chances but the disappointing thing is we haven't put them in the back of the net.

'I have been managing for a long time. I know for a fact, in our fifth year in the Premier League, our performances have been much better than the previous four years away from home but we haven't got the results.

'It has been that sort of season for us where we've been closer to winning games and being in games than we have before.

'What we need more than anything is a break – or to play badly and win a game.'

Spurs are competing with Fiorentina to sign Dutchman Jordy Clasie

Spurs eye Dutch talent Clasie but Fiorentina first to table offer

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

11:00 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:00 GMT, 30 March 2013

Tottenham will have to make their move soon if they want to sign Feyenoord playmaker Jordy Clasie before Serie A outfit Fiorentina.

The 21-year-old, who has been called the Dutch Xavi by some, has been attracting interest from Europe's top clubs, but the Viola appear to have been the first to table on offer, according to the Metro.

Clasie has already played a handful of games in the national side, and could be a perfect fit next to Sandro in the heart of Spurs' midfield.

Wonderkid: Feyenoord playmaker Jordy Clasie is one of Europe's rising stars

Wonderkid: Feyenoord playmaker Jordy Clasie is one of Europe's rising stars

Wanted: Feyenoord are realistic in their attempts to keep him in Holland

Wanted: Feyenoord are realistic in their attempts to keep him in Holland

If a move to White Hart Lane was successful, it could mean the end of Scott Parker's career in North London, with a switch to Fulham, or even QPR if they stay up, on the cards.

Feyenoord's technical directior Martin Van Geel said: 'We do not need to sell him, nor do we
particularly want to, but we have to think of the player’s ambitions and
evaluate the offers from other clubs.

‘There is an offer from Fiorentina, but
we’ll only discuss it at the end of the season. Right now the players
must focus only on Feyenoord.’

Getting on: Scott Parker could be on his way out if Clasie signs for Tottenham

Getting on: Scott Parker could be on his way out if Clasie signs for Tottenham

Jose Mourinho should return to Premier League – Andre Villas Boas

Bring back the Special One! Spurs boss AVB admits he'd love to see Mourinho back in the Premier League

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

15:51 GMT, 28 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:15 GMT, 28 March 2013

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas would welcome back rival Jose Mourinho to the Barclays Premier League.

The Special One has been linked to a surprise return to Stamford Bridge and a reunion with owner Roman Abramovich this summer.

Mourinho’s infamous antics have seen him fall out with the hierarchy at Real Madrid and interim Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez is in no danger of having his contract renewed.

Open arms: Andre Villas-Boas (above) insists he would welcome the return of Jose Mourinho (below)

Open arms: Andre Villas-Boas (above) insists he would welcome the return of Jose Mourinho (below)

Face in the crowd: Jose Mourinho was pictured wearing a dark hoodie at Chelsea

Asked what he thought about Mourinho’s potential return to Premier League football, the Tottenham manager said: ‘I think it will be excellent, excellent for everybody.’

Villas-Boas worked under Mourinho to great success at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan, but the pair fell out when he left the San Siro on 2009 to go it alone as a manager and the rift has never fully healed.

Last year he admitted that the pair had not spoken for quite some time.

Tottenham have suffered three defeats in the row and need to rediscover their winning form in order to stay on course for a Champions League spot.

Training day: Tottenham prepare for their trip to Swansea this weekend as the Premier League resumes

Training day: Tottenham prepare for their trip to Swansea this weekend as the Premier League resumes

Training day: Tottenham prepare for their trip to Swansea this weekend as the Premier League resumes

Asked whether the international break would benefit his side or not after such a poor run, he said: ‘I don’t know, you can’t really say if it’s good or bad. I think all three of those defeats were very, very different.

I think we assume the worst one was Fulham in terms of performance, but I think it came as a consequence of the extra-time being played in Milan.

The Liverpool one was an excellent performance and in Milan, we left it very, very late to save the leg.’

Villas-Boas thinks faltering Tottenham Hotspur need 16 more points from their last eight games to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League and earn a another crack at Europe’s premier club competition.

Third place would guarantee a place
in the group stages of next season’s Champions League while fourth would
offer a playoff – the same route Tottenham used in their only previous
foray into the competition two seasons ago.

Tough time: Tottenham suffered a setback in the race for the Champions League after defeat to Fulham

Tough time: Tottenham suffered a setback in the race for the Champions League after defeat to Fulham

Dimitar Berbatov

Last season they finished fourth but were denied a chance to play in the Champions League this term because sixth-placed Chelsea took their place having lifted the trophy in Munich.

Tottenham had looked favourites to finish above Chelsea and Arsenal in third place until a few weeks ago, since when defeats by Liverpool and Fulham have halted their momentum.

They travel to Swansea City on Saturday in fourth place, one point behind Chelsea and four points above Arsenal, with both their London rivals having played a game less.

'Normally (to finish in the top four) requires in the 70-72 point margin,' Villas-Boas said.

'70 is usually enough to be in the four spots. There are 24 points to be played for so that means we need 16 more points. You never know, but I think at this time we are within our objectives.'