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 By PA Sport

Sherwood aiming to ruin rivals' hopes

Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood hopes his side can ruin as many of their rivals' Champions League qualification dreams as possible, starting with a result away to Chelsea on Saturday.

Tim Sherwood
Tim Sherwood says the pressure is off Spurs ahead of trips to Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool.

• Fitch: Fun factor missing

An unconvincing 1-0 home victory over Cardiff on Sunday consolidated fifth place in the Premier League for Spurs, with Sherwood acutely aware his side's top-four aspirations are slipping away.

The White Hart Lane club trail fourth-placed Manchester City by four points, but the newly-crowned Capital One Cup champions boast two games in hand over their rivals.

Spurs may have to overhaul North London rivals Arsenal to squeeze into next season's Champions League, and while they face a tough trip to Jose Mourinho's league leaders on Saturday, Sherwood says his side they will at least try to spoil the European hopes for a few of their competitors.

"I don't know about Chelsea being more ambitious than us; we're going to the Bridge and that's definitely tough, but sometimes expectancy works against you,'' he said.

"Some of our fans might have been rubbing their hands expecting a few goals against Cardiff, but it doesn't work like that. You've got to earn the right for everything.

"Sometimes when the expectation is not with you, it makes it a little bit easier. [With] games against Chelsea at the Bridge, Arsenal at the Emirates and Liverpool at Anfield, perhaps the pressure's off us a little bit and we can cause a surprise.

"We're looking to mess up as many other people's seasons as we can, and enhance ours at the same time.''

Roberto Soldado's first goal in nine games fired Spurs to victory against the Bluebirds on Sunday, helping to shrug off the dejection of a 1-0 league defeat at Norwich a week earlier.

Sherwood admitted the Cardiff clash was a tetchy, disjointed affair, but was happy to collect the three points and roll on towards another London derby.

"We're looking upwards, but we know we're not only chasing teams above us; there's people chasing us up behind too,'' he continued.

"All we can do is look after ourselves. We had a blip last week, we had a tough game in Europe and we've bounced back.

"It wasn't vintage and I'm not insulting anyone's intelligence here; it wasn't great against Cardiff, but then you can't always be great.

"I would relish a challenge with Arsenal, but they would argue they were up chasing on Liverpool."

Sherwood believes it is too early to rule out Everton and even eighth-placed Newcastle for a top-four challenge, and says the teams with the strongest resolve, rather than the most attractive approach, will be successful this season.

"I think Everton would still be in the frame, and Newcastle possibly will be in the frame. There are teams capable of putting a run together, so you just don't know," he added.

"You can't ever guarantee you'll win this one, draw that one, and anyone can beat anyone. You don't win leagues and qualify for Europe by playing free-flowing, magnificent football every week.

"Sometimes you have to dig deep and dig out a result. I thought we did that on Sunday, but I thought we were relatively comfortable in the second period."

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