Andre Villa-Boas insists Tottenham Hotspur are not taking a top-four place for granted.
The men from White Hart Lane strengthened their chances of UEFA Champions League football next season with a 2-1 home win against Arsenal on Sunday, which leaves them seven points clear of their fifth-place rivals. Maybe just as importantly, it also allowed them to leapfrog Chelsea into third place, two points clear of the soon-to-be-dethroned European champions.
Tottenham certainly have the bit between their teeth at the moment as they look to cement a third top-four finish in the space of four years, with the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Aaron Lennon, Hugo Lloris and, of course, Gareth Bale all hitting top form in recent weeks. But despite this, and their current point margin, Villa-Boas is refusing to take anything for granted.
“It was very, very important for what it means, but obviously nothing is finished yet,” he told Sky Sports. “We have to believe that we still have to fight hard. It is important we gather as many points as we can to finish where we want to be. Last year, by this time, Arsenal made the difference of seven points to Tottenham and we know how it finished. We have to continue to do our job.
“We have seen so many shifts in league position recently towards the end of the season, particularly among the big teams involved in Europe, so you can’t really stop. You just have to continue. Confidence makes a difference. It’s not a big enough margin yet for us to be completely safe.”
Whilst a top-four finish is the priority for Tottenham this season, their attention will now switch to Europe and their UEFA Europa League clash with Internazionale on Thursday. The Italian side are currently fourth place in Serie A, and have lost three times since the turn of the year. On Sunday, though, they served a reminder of their quality to come back from 2-0 down to win at Catania.