Gylfi Sigurdsson believes Tottenham Hotspur are still on course for a top-four finish.
Andre Villas-Boas looked set to lead his side to UEFA Champions League qualification in his debut season at the club, having gone 12 matches undefeated in the Premier League from 9 December. However, they have since lost two matches on the bounce, first at Liverpool last weekend, and more surprisingly, to Fulham at White Hart Lane on Sunday afternoon.
This has allowed Chelsea to leapfrog them to third position in the standings, whilst Arsenal are just four points behind and, like the Blues, have a game in hand. Inevitably, this has led to suggestions Spurs are about to choke at the business end of the season, but Sigurdsson has reminded his team-mates that they still have their destiny in their own hands.
“We just need to pick ourselves up, stay together and perform well until the end of the season,” the Icelandic international is quoted on Sky Sports. “It is in our hands and we are in a good position to make sure we get the Champions League spot. It’s down to us now and we have just got to make sure we are playing the way we’ve been playing throughout the season.”
Tottenham will resume their quest for a top-four finish after the international break, when they travel to the Liberty Stadium to face Swansea City on 30 March. It is their schedule in April, though, which will cause concern. Not only do they face rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, but they also welcome Everton and champions Manchester City to North London, and they finish the month with a potentially tricky trip to relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic.
This programme could become more complicated due to their participation in the UEFA Europa League. Spurs already face FC Basle over two legs in the quarter-final, and if they advance past the Swiss side, they will play the first leg of the semi-final on 25 April. If it’s any consolation to Villas-Boas and his players, Chelsea face an even more congested month, as they too are in the Europa League, and also take on Manchester United in an FA Cup quarter-final replay which could lead to a Wembley semi-final against Manchester City less than a fortnight later.