Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood has urged his players to embrace an upcoming run of fixtures that will be crucial to their Premier League and Europa League ambitions.
Spurs face a trip to face Premier League leaders Chelsea, with games against Benfica, Arsenal, Southampton and Liverpool on their agenda before the end of March.
By then, Sherwood will know whether his team remain in the hunt for a top four finish in the Premier League and he is relishing the challenge of trying to guide a Spurs team to victory at Stamford Bridge for the first time since Gary Lineker scored a winner for the club in the fixture back in 1990.
“We’re not frightened of this period, we’re looking forward to it,"the Tottenham boss said. “We’re going in [to Stamford Bridge] with the pressure off us and obviously what has happened in the past [to Tottenham sides at Chelsea] we have to put to the back of our minds.
“We have to go there and impose ourselves and hopefully we can get a positive result, but there is absolutely no pressure on the boys, is there? Our record is so bad that we can go there and take the shackles off and enjoy the day. The only people that expect us to win are inside our dressing room.
“Why has it been so tough for us at Chelsea? I’ve no idea. Obviously what has happened in the past we have to put to the back of our minds.
“We’re going to go there and give it everything. It’s a chance for the players to put themselves in the record books and we’re confident that we can spring a surprise, because after all it is going to be a surprise isn’t it, if we beat Chelsea at the Bridge.”
Sherwood admitted his team needs to show a dramatic improvement in their performance from their last Premier League game against Norwich, which ended in a 1-0 defeat at Carrow Road almost two weeks ago, yet he was keen to highlight his side’s otherwise impressive away record this season, with their nine victories on the road more than any other team has achieved in the Premier League.
“We’ve been good away from home, although our recent away game was poor,” he added. “We played Norwich and we got beaten. If we play anything like what we did at Norwich they’ll be putting more bulbs in the scoreboard [at Stamford Bridge]
“We need to make sure that we’re a lot better than that, and we will be. The motivation of the players is there, the record suggests that.”