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Lucas Moura: Belief key to Tottenham’s pursuit of top-four Premier League finish

Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
(Image credit: John Walton)

Tottenham attacker Lucas Moura says belief is key to their pursuit of a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Success over Crystal Palace on Sunday made it three consecutive top-flight wins in the space of a week for Spurs to boost their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

Jose Mourinho’s side are firmly back in the mix after a poor run of results earlier in 2021 – where they lost five out of six league games and exited the FA Cup – threatened to ruin their domestic season.

On what has changed, Moura said: “I think the main thing was the mentality because we just needed to have the belief in ourselves.

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“We needed to know how good we are because we have terrific players, a very good squad and the quality in the Premier League to win games. When we realise that and we have confidence, we are able to dominate games.”

Harry Kane and Gareth Bale stole the show with doubles against Palace at the weekend but Moura and Son Heung-min also played key roles in the 4-1 victory.

Tottenham’s fourth against the Eagles made it 100 goals in 44 games this season in all competitions.

It saw Jose Mourinho quip “for a very negative team is not bad” in reference to criticism over Spurs’ – at times – defensive style of play.

“For me, we have unbelievable players, we have creative players and we need to keep the ball to dictate games,” Moura added.

“The most important thing is we make use of these players in every game. We have so much quality and if we keep the ball and attack, we lessen the risk of teams coming at us and they can win the game for us.”

Moura, who has eight goals this term, was deployed in the number 10 position against Palace after largely plying his trade out wide this season.

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It is a role he is familiar with and his pressing caught the eye after he was recalled for Dele Alli, who earned a rare start in the midweek win at Fulham.

“When I was younger, I always played (there) and I like that position because I feel free,” the former Sao Paulo forward said.

“I’m happy with the confidence that Jose has given me. I just have to give my best and keep going in the same way.”

Next up for Tottenham is a Europa League round-of-16 first leg with Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday and it will be quickly followed by Sunday’s north London derby.

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Spurs are seven points above Arsenal but still behind the likes of Chelsea and Everton in the race for the top four.

Moura, 28, admitted: “It’s going to be hard. It’s not easy when there are a few teams in front of us but we need to trust ourselves.

“There are still 11 games to play. We can achieve this objective but we need to think step by step, game by game.

“If we play like we did (against Palace), of course we can finish in the top four – and that’s the objective.”