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Dempsey: Tense times at Spurs

ESPN staff
April 8, 2013 « Pickett eyes Boston card, or TUF show with Faber | Chartbeat test »

Tottenham forward Clint Dempsey has said home games are becoming increasingly stressful as the race for a Champions League place intensifies.

The USA international said he had noticed a growing tension around White Hart Lane as Spurs, Chelsea and Arsenal battle for third and fourth places.

Spurs needed a late Gylfi Sigurdsson equaliser to salvage a 2-2 draw with Everton on Sunday - with their previous home games having brought a 1-0 defeat to Fulham and a 2-2 Europa League draw against Basel.

"That's the way it's kind of been the last few games at home," Dempsey said. "It's been tense. I don't know if it has been affecting performances. It's been noticeable in the last three home games.

"There are a few teams right there in the fight for the Champions League, and it makes it more interesting for people to watch. It's a little bit more stressful, but it's a good stress. At least we're pushing to try to get that spot."

Dempsey believes the fight for the top-four would go "right to the end", adding: "Hopefully, we have enough character to get the job done. You've got to play. You've got to keep going and do everything you can to help the team.''

He also said the draw against Everton had brought Spurs "an important point" - but they had seemed set for much more when Emmanuel Adebayor opened the scoring after less than a minute.

However, Phil Jagielka and Kevin Mirallas put the Merseysiders, also in the chase for European football, in front before Sigurdsson struck the leveller with only three minutes left.

With both Manchester City and Chelsea on the list of games to come, Lewis Holtby, who replaced the injured Aaron Lennon against Everton, said Spurs had no room for mistakes.

"If we want to play in the Champions League, we want to win those games," Holtby said. "It's about professionalism, and playing at a big club. If you play a lot of games in your career, you get that calmness as well. If you look at the whole season, all the effort we have put in, I think we deserve to [qualify for the Champions League]."

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