Dembele sets Spurs twin Euro targets
Mousa Dembele has his eyes on Champions League qualification and Europa League success this season after Tottenham came from behind to beat Dnipro on Thursday and advance to the last-16 of the latter competition.
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Spurs currently trail fourth-placed Liverpool by six points after a disappointing 1-0 defeat away to Norwich last Sunday, and face a must-win game against Cardiff on Sunday in their bid to keep next season’s European dreams alive.
But after staging a memorable comeback to beat Dnipro 3-2 on aggregate and reach the last-16 of the Europa League, Dembele has backed his side to win the tournament and finish in the top four of the Premier League this year.
"A club like Tottenham are up there with the top teams and I think they have to be in the Champions League," he said. "I play with these players every day and of course it is my opinion that we need to be in the Champions League.
"There are a lot of good teams in the Premier League and we have to work hard to reach the top four. We want to win something, too, and if we can get the Europa League, we will take it with both hands."
Speculation is mounting over the future of White Hart lane boss Tim Sherwood, with sources telling ESPN FC on Monday that the club have held 'extensive' talks with Louis van Gaal over the Dutch coach taking over in the summer -- but Dembele confirmed he is happy working with the 45-year-old.
"Would I like [Sherwood] to stay long term? That's not for me to decide," Dembele continued.
"But how it looks now I think the team has confidence, we're playing much better and of course everybody is happy. After that the club has to decide, but as a team I think right now we are very happy."
Dembele believes the Europa League turnaround against Dnipro will be a source of inspiration for Spurs as they go into Sunday’s clash against the bottom-placed Bluebirds, and he expects three points against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
"It is a big platform for us," he added. "On the back of a poor game at Norwich we should be bouncing into the game against Cardiff. You are only as good as your last game and on Thursday we were very good.
"It will be a tough game. Cardiff are fighting for their lives and are bottom of the league.
"They have some maverick players who on their day can win games so we will be cautious of them, but buoyed at the same time by the performance against Dnipro. We should win that game."