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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 1, 2006

Jol remains focused on goal of European football

Tottenham boss Martin Jol set his new year sights on qualifying for Europe as he declared that his young side had still not realised their full potential.

Jol has consistently remained cautious over Spurs' Champions League ambitions, even though his side reinforced their position ahead of both Arsenal and Wigan with their 2-0 win against Newcastle.

Asked about retaining their fourth spot, he joked: 'Hopefully we will but then hopefully Chelsea will drop a lot of points and we can catch them too!

'Seriously, our main purpose this weekend was to make the gap bigger on Newcastle, who are now 12 points behind, and Manchester City, who are nine points behind, while Bolton are also very consistent and strong.'

That is without even considering north London rivals Arsenal, whose draw at Aston Villa left them four points behind Spurs with a game in hand.

Jol added: 'We've had some results which were very encouraging but others when I thought we were not yet there. And we're still not there yet.

'If the young players continue to step up, like Jermaine Jenas has done, we could finish in the first four or five.

'But if they don't, we could have a bit of a problem as Aaron Lennon and Wayne Routledge are my only wide players on the right. We will have our disappointments and that happened against West Brom over Christmas.'

Spurs recovered well from that setback but their progress will be tested on Wednesday night when they face Manchester City away before further trips to Leicester in the FA Cup and then Liverpool in the Premiership.

'We are at least stronger now because we have Edgar Davids and Teemu Tainio. Paul Stalteri is also a very steady player and that's another difference to last season,' observed Jol.

'Last year, our home record was just as good but we've had a few results away from home and look mentally stronger as we've come back from going behind a few times.'

Spurs' current problem is that captain Ledley King is sidelined with a groin injury and could be out for another fortnight to three weeks.

Jol nevertheless reflected: 'It wasn't easy against Newcastle as Ledley is a very important part of my team and he was missing again. You think it could be a problem but we looked fine without him and that's very positive.'

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