Jan Vertonghen believes that his Tottenham side are not good enough to mount a late charge for Champions League qualification.

Spurs slipped to defeat at the hands of North London rivals Arsenal on Sunday to extend the gap between themselves and a slot in the top four to seven points after a weekend in which three of their main rivals secured victories.

Before the season started, securing a spot in Europe’s top club competition was seen as the minimum requirement at White Hart Lane, with the Lilywhites having invested £110m – albeit the majority of which was funded by Gareth Bale’s move to Real Madrid – in their first-team squad.

But after a forgettable start to the campaign Andre Villas-Boas was sacked and replaced by Tim Sherwood, who hasn’t had much more joy on the pitch than his predecessor.

With eight games to go, Vertonghen believes that their best chance of Champions League qualification is to focus on next season:

“I do not want to look at the table any more because the gap [on the top four] is very big.” He is quoted by The Metro.

“All four sides at the top are stronger than they were last year and we have stayed at the same level.

“We do have the players to achieve (qualification) and I hope we can achieve it next year.”

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