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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr, 14, 2006

Jol prepares summer clearout for Europe

Tottenham are ready to undertake a summer clear-out to pave the way for coach Martin Jol to strengthen his squad for Europe.

Spurs are hoping to land fourth spot in the Premiership and a place in the Champions League next season.

But even if they miss out, Spurs will still be involved in the UEFA Cup and the club are ready to allow a number of players to leave White Hart Lane to make way for the new blood.

Out-of-favour defenders Stephen Kelly and Goran Bunjevcevic will go along with Morocco international Noureddine Naybet and reserve-team skipper Johnnie Jackson.

But Kelly has already asked to leave and Jol confirmed Bunjevcevic's contract was finished.

Meanwhile, Republic of Ireland striker Robbie Keane believes he is in the best form of his career after scoring 14 goals this season.

Jol has kept faith with Keane and Egyptian striker Mido at the expense of frustrated England striker Jermain Defoe.

Keane has rewarded Jol with 12 goals in his last 18 starts and seven in the last seven games.

'I would have to say I am in the best form of my career,' said Keane.

'I am certainly enjoying my football more than I have done for a long time and that's all credit to the team.

'When the team is doing well it is easy for you to do well. I'm playing regularly and that helps and I feel when I go out on the pitch I can do something that could help change a game. I feel confident at the moment.'

Tottenham have made immense strides under Jol's leadership since he took charge of the club in the wake of Jacques Santini's abrupt departure towards the end of 2004.

Now, with his side on the brink of qualifying to play among Europe's elite next term, Jol insists they could be challenging Chelsea and Manchester United for the Premiership title within the next three years.

'My ambition - and it is not easy, and maybe not realistic - but I think in the next three years we could make a challenge to be champions of England,' declared Jol.

'Our fan base is probably bigger than most of the other clubs with over one million supporters in England.

'So what I would like to do is challenge for the title but I don't know if it is possible.'

Spurs face a tricky Easter programme with an away trip to Everton on Saturday and a home game with Manchester United on Monday.

But Jol is confident of maintaining their four-point lead over Arsenal despite the bookies favouring the Gunners to snatch fourth spot.

Their clash with Arsenal later this month may well turn out to be a showdown encounter for the coveted place, but Jol says there is much at stake long before that fixture.

'If the difference is only two or three points when we play Arsenal then it is possible for them to get in front, but it all depends on this weekend.

'Maybe the bookmakers still favouring Arsenal for fourth place makes us stronger.'

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