Sherwood dismisses talk of crisis at Spurs

Tim Sherwood has dismissed talk of a crisis at Tottenham but admitted his side look set to miss out on a place in the UEFA Champions League.

Tottenham suffered a 1-0 Premier League defeat against arch rivals Arsenal on Sunday to cap off a miserable week in which they were thrashed 4-0 at Chelsea and lost 3-1 at home to Benfica in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League last 16 tie.

The London club are fifth in the top flight, but seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester City - who have three games in hand - and nine adrift of Liverpool and Arsenal.

Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool side and Arsene Wenger's charges also have a game in hand, so Tottenham's hopes of qualifying for Europe'a premier club competition look remote.

They can consider themselves unfortunate to suffer a third north London derby defeat of the season though, as Arsenal had to dig deep to secure all three points following Tomas Rosicky's stunning strike in the second minute.

Sherwood knows a top-four finish looks unlikely, but the head coach is determined to finish the season on a high note.

He said: "I think it was difficult anyway (to finish in the top four), we're going to try and accumulate as many points as we can, we've obviously got a tough game away at Benfica (on Thursday) and then we need the same performance back here against Southampton.

"If we do we win the game, and we will win probably more than we lose before the end of the season. It was always going to be a tough period for us, but there is no crisis here.

"I've learnt more as a manger in this last week, than I did in the easy period when we were winning games every week."

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I fear for our future if Sherwood's assessment of Spurs' direction is accepted as 'the truth'. AVB was sacked effectively for producing performances which were superior to Sherwood's once the 'honeymoon' was over. We are now a dogged team without imagination, desperately seeking ways to get into goalscoring positions and failing to be secure defensively whilst doing so. AVB had us pressing in the middle of the park and holding a high line - Sherwood has guts and Arsenal-style recklessness: it has brought us increased fouls and cards against, and injury problems. We are subject to his pitch-side rants and our players are arguing amongst themselves. Clearly neither manager has been satisfied with his squad, feeling it was not of his choosing, and has been hampered by injury, but I really can't see how we have made any progress since our big summer changes. Management (Levy in particular) needs to consider its position; I for one don't want to go on watching this headless chicken football.