The Netherlands international gave the North London team the lead at the Liberty Stadium, before Scott Sinclair equalised for the Welsh side in a 1-1 draw.
With the Manchester clubs both losing unexpectedly, Harry Redknapp’s men missed the opportunity to further close the gap on the joint leaders, but Van der Vaart feels that Spurs must be considered as contenders.
“There is no reason why we can’t catch the top two,” he told The Telegraph.
“There is still a long way to go. I think the fact that we are really disappointed with only a point away from home is also a very good sign for the club.
“Maybe a few years ago Tottenham Hotspur would have been happy to have gone home with a draw. Now we know we can do more, we know that we can do better than this,” he admitted.
Tottenham take on West Brom at White Hart Lane on Tuesday night in their next game, and will look to get back to winning ways.
By Gareth McKnight