Tottenham Hotspur striker Peter Crouch has hailed the club’s season as a success, despite the North Londoners finishing outside of the Champions League places, and is up for the challenge of winning the Europa League next term.
An impressive debut foray into Europe’s premier competition was tempered by the disappointment of failing to qualify for next year’s campaign. Spurs had Champions League qualification within their grasp, but a run of only three wins in the last 11 games of the season meant they were pipped to fourth spot by Manchester City.
Speaking to FourFourTwo at the launch of The FA and MARS Just Play scheme in London, a brand new nationwide initiative aiming to get adults in England playing regular football, the Spurs and England striker feels that a little perspective is needed, though admitted to being disappointed at the club’s final league position.
“A lot of people have said it’s not been a good season,” he said. “But if you look at where we were two years ago and where we are now I think it’s been a great season.
“It’s disappointing we didn’t finish in the top four but that’s the aim next year.”
A fifth-placed finish leaves Tottenham with Europa League football next season; a competition that manager Harry Redknapp had referred to as a nightmare earlier in the year.
With the league a clear priority next season, Crouch is aware that the travails of playing on Thursdays and Sundays are something the squad will have to deal with, especially if they are to fight off competition from Manchester City and Liverpool for next season's spoils.
“It can be hard physically, but it does shift the balance of your league season. But that’s something we will have to adapt to and we’ll be going all-out to try and do as well as we can in the Europa League next season.
“Manchester City and Liverpool will strengthen and I think it will probably be the toughest Premier League for a long time, but the aim has got to be the top four and the Champions League."
The FA and MARS Just Play scheme aims to get a 150,000 new participants playing the game for at least 30 minutes a week by September 2013.comments