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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 20, 2006

Jol - 'Tottenham deserve to finish fourth'

Tottenham coach Martin Jol leads his team into their most important game of the season convinced his side deserve to finish fourth in the Premiership.

Spurs have a four-point lead over Arsenal but the Gunners have a game in hand as the two clubs battle it out for a Champions League place next season.

Arsenal could still ruin Tottenham's dreams of a place among Europe's elite if they win the Champions League but Jol refuses to focus on such a disappointing outcome.

Instead, the Dutch coach is planning to give Tottenham fans one last victory at Highbury and boost their European dreams at the same time.

'Everybody realises this is the most important game of the season for us,' admitted Jol. 'I think we deserve it. There are three games to go and we are still in fourth spot and if we get a result at Arsenal nobody can deny that we deserve it.

'It will one of the last games at Highbury so it would be nice to get a result. I still think it would be a disappointment not to be in the Champions League because that is the biggest stage for any big club.

'The point is to get there because I think it will be a very good experience for the players and a test for the younger ones. I think we have enough time to prepare.'

Jol is adamant Spurs will not change their style of play against Arsenal and is unconcerned over suggestions Arsene Wenger may choose to rest some of his stars ahead of the vital Champions League semi-final return leg against Villarreal.

Spurs will look to take the game to Arsenal although Jol admits it is difficult to legislate for the unexpected - most notably the possible arrival of squirrels on the Highbury turf, which is what happened against Villarreal yesterday.

'We always go, even in away games, to score goals and keep a clean sheet,' said Jol. 'If it is a draw we would still have the same gap so maybe it would not be the most disastrous thing in the world.

'I probably know 95% of their team and they will know our line-up.

'It is only back-to-back games against Manchester United and Arsenal that have made it more difficult for us.

'However, I know we are able to get a result anywhere. But anything can happen. Maybe on Saturday hundreds of squirrels will come on to the pitch and we will have a problem. You cannot prepare yourself for squirrels, so we would probably have to run.'

But while Jol will be disappointed if their greatest rivals a deny them place in the Champions League, the fact Spurs will still be in the UEFA Cup will go some way to easing the hurt.

'We will have more disappointments in the future,' said Jol. 'It will probably take me a day or two to get over not being in the Champions League but then we will still be in Europe and that will be another achievement.

'If you had told before the season that we would be in Europe next year, I would have been happy - whatever the competition.'