• Premier League

Sherwood: Race for Champions League football down to wire

ESPN staff
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Tim Sherwood stated his own future at Tottenham would not be decided by his hopes of securing a top-four finish © Getty Images
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Tim Sherwood believes nine victories from the final 13 Premier League games of the season may be enough to secure Tottenham a top-four finish, but suggested the club may struggle to attract more top players should they fail to qualify for the Champions League.

Sherwood's suggestion that his side can afford to lose as many as 'four or five matches' and still claim a return to the Champions League may surprise some, with the Spurs head coach admitting the unpredictable nature of this season's English top flight makes predictions a little tricky.

"Maths is not my strong point, but I would say that we could afford to lose four or five games maybe, of what we have left. That would give us a huge tally," Sherwood said.

"You can do the sums later. Our biggest rivals Liverpool are flying at the moment and we need them to trip up, that's for sure.

"I would say Newcastle have to consider themselves still in it [the top-four race], possibly Southampton. Man United for sure. They will put a run together and be right up there. There are enough teams who can beat everyone.

"A club like Tottenham expects to be in and around that spot. We have tasted Champions League football, so the expectancy is obviously there.

"We have spent a lot of money. It's fair to say, not every player settled in. It does take time to do that. We have also got a huge amount of players at the club who are performing very well. "We have had a season where there have been so many hammerings for teams. Five, six or seven [goals], it can happen to anyone. We have been on the end of them ourselves.

"We are looking upwards rather than behind us. It will go right to the wire. I don't think anything will be secured until the final month of the season."

Sherwood admitted Tottenham's hopes of attracting top players and hanging on to their current stars could be affected by their race for the Champions League this season, but he suggested the status of the club remains a lure for potential signings.

"There is always a risk you can lose players if you are not in the Champions League," Sherwood said. "Tottenham is a massive football club that will always attract the biggest name players. There are other clubs where they can go and sit on the bench and pick up championship medals. That is not something I would have wanted to do.

"This club sells itself. It's far bigger than any manager. I am not here making out I'm doing anyone a favour being Tottenham manager. This is a massive football club. Players will come here because they know what we have to offer. If the be all and end all is Champions League and we are not in it, they will have to make a decision."

Sherwood stated his own future at Tottenham would not be decided by his hopes of securing a top-four finish, but he was realistic about his long-term job prospects.

"I just need to get as high up the league as I possibly can and if my achievements don't match the achievements of the club, then I will be gone," Sherwood said. "We are looking upwards rather than behind us. It will go right to the wire. I don't think anything will be secured until the final month of the season.

"I never set any targets for myself here. I just wanted to win as many games as possible. In the Premier League, it has gone reasonably well for me. I just wanted to keep it going, You are one game away from being a disaster. Recently, I read about a mini-disaster at certain clubs when they have lost two or three games."

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