Townsend: No excuses for Tottenham
Tottenham midfielder Andros Townsend warned his team-mates that there are "no excuses" for the London club not to finish in the Premier League's top four and reach next season's UEFA Champions League.
Having been eliminated from the UEFA Europa League and lost the League Cup Final in the space of four days, Tottenham's sole focus for the rest of the season is the Premier League, with 12 matches to rise from seventh into the top four.
Tottenham sit six points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester United, although Mauricio Pochettino's men have a game in hand, and Townsend urged his team on Monday to take advantage of their light schedule.
"We're out of two competitions but that just makes us more hungry to fight for fourth place in the Premier League," Townsend said.
"It's all to play for and there's no excuses about the schedule, Thursday-Sunday, any more. It's just straight weekend games until the end of the season and, hopefully, we'll be good enough to get fourth place."
The 23-year-old added: "The schedule gives us a focus, a chance to train a bit more and come into games fresher, and prove whether we're good enough to finish in the top four."
Like Tottenham (44 points), sixth-placed Southampton (46) have no other responsibilities outside the Premier League, although Liverpool (48) and United (50) remain in the FA Cup.
Chelsea defeated Tottenham 2-0 in the League Cup decider on Sunday and although Townsend was disappointed, he insisted Pochettino's men will have many more chances to win titles in the coming years.
"We're a relatively young and inexperienced team and our confidence was booming ahead of the final, so we were extremely disappointed to lose, but this side will have many occasions to play in finals," Townsend said.
"We went toe to toe with one of the best teams in European football, having beaten them in the league a few months ago. Hopefully that was just the start.
"We'll only get better. We're on the beginning of our journey and, hopefully, we can lift a trophy in a few years' time."