Vertonghen: Only Chelsea are too strong for Spurs

Jan Vertonghen is confident Tottenham have the quality required to push on for a top four spot this season.

The north London club have endured an indifferent start to 2014/15 as they adjust to the methods and style of new head coach Mauricio Pochettino, winning four and losing four of their opening 10 Premier League matches.

However, with Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton and Manchester United also struggling to hit top gear, Spurs still find themselves just three points off a Champions League place ahead of Stoke City's visit on Sunday.

And the Belgium international defender believes that aside from the top two, everyone else is within reach as they also struggle to string together victories.

“Apart from Chelsea, and at this moment Southampton, I can’t see any team making a five-game run of wins so there is a lot to play for,” he told FourFourTwo.

United, Liverpool, Everton, we are all close. Only Chelsea are probably too strong for us. There’s still a lot to play for and anything is possible for fourth place

“United, Liverpool, Everton, we are all close. Only Chelsea are probably too strong for us. There’s still a lot to play for and anything is possible for fourth place.”

Spurs have laboured at White Hart Lane this season, losing three of their last four league games against Newcastle, West Bromwich Albion and Liverpool.

Whereas on their travels the Londoners have fared better, beaten just once – at champions Manchester City  - and picking up a point at Arsenal.

Vertonghen feels a tendency for visiting teams to sit back is partly to blame for the problematic home form and tense atmosphere it generates.

“I think Tottenham still has quite a good reputation when it comes to attacking football,” he said. “At home games, teams tend to drop and we experience some difficulties with teams that play counter-attack.

"With away games teams want to try to attack, which is better for us as most of the time we are a better team in possession and playing football. It fits our game much better when the other team tries to play football as well.

“The Tottenham supporters expect a lot from us, which is normal, because we have a lot of good players so they expect a certain amount of points or goals in the season. Sometimes it affects us in a good way but we always try and do our best even if sometimes it doesn’t look like that!”

Sometimes you need a bit of luck to get you through the game. We had a bit of luck at Villa

Spurs go into Sunday's encounter on the back of dramatic 2-1 away victory at Aston Villa; Harry Kane hitting a last-gasp free-kick via a wicked deflection.

It’s that sort of good fortune Vertonghen says has been eluding his team in recent weeks, as they followed it up with another win at Asteras Tripolis on Thursday.

“After the Newcastle game someone asked me what was missing. Sometimes you need a bit of luck to get you through the game,” he said.

“We had a bit of luck at Villa with the [Christian Benteke] red card. The decisions weren’t in their favour and we were lucky with the free-kick. Sometimes you need that luck to turn things around and hopefully that’s what we did.”

Jan Vertonghen was speaking at Nike's 'Football meets Football' training event at Wembley as part of the 'Suit up for Sunday' campaign and ahead of the final 2014 NFL International Series game. This Sunday the Dallas Cowboys will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium. For more information go to www.nike.com/suitupforsundaywww.nfluk.com or visit NikeTown London.