AVB believes Europa League and top-four EPL finish equally important
Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas insists Europa League won’t prove to be a thorn in the side as his side attempts to secure a top-four spot in the Premier League. Andre Villas-Boas claims he will not be distracted by the European competition as his side works to capture Champions League action for next season.
Nonetheless, the White Hart Lane boss admits blind focus on the Europa League could derail Tottenham Hotspur’s attempt to finish in the top-four. Tottenham Hotspur are positioned third with 57 points on the Premier League table. With only seven games remaining in the season, the crunch time for Tottenham Hotspur to be at its best has arrived.
English football giants Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton are breathing down Tottenham Hotspur’s neck at the moment. Tottenham Hotspur are only two points away from Chelsea and an additional two points away from Arsenal. Meanwhile, Everton stands at sixth with 51 points, which means Tottenham Hotspur needs to be wary of competition till the last game of the season.
Since Tottenham Hotspur have played a game in advance, Chelsea and Arsenal have a huge advantage over their third-placed London rivals. As Tottenham Hotspur prepare for the first-leg of their quarterfinal battle in Europa League against Basel on Thursday, the possibility of an upset cannot be ruled out since additional action means increased risk of injuries and exhaustion.
To Andre Villas-Boas succeeding in the Europa League and finishing in the top-four are equally important.
“[The Europa League] has the same importance as every game we play, although I understand that it is always the league position that determines the success of the season,” Andre Villas-Boas said. “You always get comfortable when you are further ahead from the pack but the other teams are so near. It is not the first time that the other teams have been so near to us and it shifts every week.
“The fact that we are going to be third this week doesn't put more or less doubt on ourselves or make us over-confident. We have to continue to do our job.
“It will depend probably on the fixtures against the teams who have the same objectives as us. It may depend on what happens between Chelsea and Manchester United in the FA Cup as it could mean our game against them is postponed for later.
“But we have Everton, Manchester City and Chelsea to come, if we can gather points in those games it could be decisive in terms of our final place in the league.”
Andre Villas-Boas believes Tottenham Hotspur are capable of fighting on both fronts at the same time, while bringing good results to the table.
“We dream of winning trophies so our focus on the Europa League won't shift,” Andre Villas-Boas added. “We understand that we have to keep the team fresh and we are able to rotate as we have top-quality players that allow us to do so. Now we are in the Europa League quarter-finals we can only dream of winning the trophy.”