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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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Holtby confident of top-four finish

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Lewis Holtby remains confident that the club will qualify for the Champions League despite the recent run of poor form.

Spurs have won only one of their last four fixtures and are now embroiled in a four-way tussle with Arsenal, Chelsea and Everton for two Champions League places.

• Fitch: The deadwood at Spurs

The loss of Gareth Bale to an ankle injury for two weeks has made things more difficult for manager Andre Villas-Boas - but at least it comes at a time when Spurs will have a blank week in the Premier League as Chelsea, who they were due to play, are in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Holtby spoke of his concern that Spurs were unable to go on and pick up three points at home to Everton on Sunday despite taking the lead after just 35 seconds through Emmanuel Adebayor, having to rely on a late Gylfi Sigurdsson goal to snatch a 2-2 draw.

But despite a testing fixture list and further injury concerns over Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe, Holtby believes Spurs have the quality to secure only their second season of Champions League action.

"At the end of the day, if we want to play in the Champions League we want to win games like these," Holtby said. "But we've still got decisive games against [Man] City at home and against Chelsea away, which are going to be big games.

"The games against Southampton and Sunderland are also ones we have to win to get those points to stay up there in the top four. I'm confident that we can do it because we have a lot of quality in our side."

In addition, Spurs also travel to Wigan Athletic and Stoke City.

Clint Dempsey accepts that Spurs fans may be fearing deja vu and another end-of-season collapse with Arsenal now two points behind with a game in hand.

Dempsey was quoted in the Daily Star as saying: "That's the way it's been the last few games at home, I feel the atmosphere has been tense.

"But you've got to keep playing and do whatever you can to keep the team winning, just keep on giving your very best. I don't know if it's affected our performances but it's been there, it's something I've noticed.

"There's a few teams that are right there behind us, so it makes it more interesting. It's a little bit more stressful but I think it's a good stress.

"We have the quality to get the job done so it's about being confident enough to do it - and it's going to be a fight all the way to the end."

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