Parker: Fourth or bust for Spurs
Tottenham's season will be regarded as a failure if they fail to qualify for the Champions League, Scott Parker believes.
An 11-match unbeaten run towards the end of 2011 had left some claiming the current Spurs group were on a par with the 1961 double-winning squad.
Manager Harry Redknapp suggested a sustained tilt at their first title in 51 years was possible after the club went within touching distance of the summit in January, but Tottenham's season is on the verge of imploding in spectacular style.
The Londoners have won just one of their last eight Premier League games and were knocked out of the FA Cup thanks to Chelsea's 5-1 victory at Wembley.
In a frank interview which followed the thrashing, Parker conceded that after starting the season so well, it would be a failure if Tottenham could not bring Champions League football back to White Hart Lane next term.
"If we don't end up fourth we will have failed as a squad,'' he said. "We've had a fantastic ride this year and we've dipped, that's obvious. Even our own manager is probably doubting us a little bit at the moment. Others (are), too, like our own fans.''
Poor displays in their draws against Sunderland and Stoke, and in last week's home defeat by Norwich, have left others claiming the speculation surrounding Redknapp's future and a potential switch to the national side is to blame.
Parker does not think that is the case but is still at a loss to explain how a team that played so well in the first half of the season has suddenly collapsed.
"Has the speculation about the manager affected us? I wouldn't like to think it had,'' he added. "It's probably a combination of a few things: dip in form, a bit of tiredness, but we need to try to stay mentally strong and grind it out now.
"Something like yesterday's result might just kick us on. We can try to get that siege mentality. We need to stand up and be counted and show the fans and show the manager that we're going to try to end up in fourth place.
"We've had a few hard-luck stories but we can't look back at those now. We have five games left and we need to win those. We haven't got 20 games left where we can sit down and analyse where we're going wrong. We need to try to stay positive and grind out the rest of the season and get fourth.''