Andre Villas-Boas is convinced Tottenham can only learn from the hurt of failing to secure a Champions League spot for another season.
Spurs have now narrowly slipped up in their bids for Europe’s elite competition for two consecutive years, although this is the first of those setbacks to have been overseen by the former Chelsea boss.
Villas-Boas admitted to mixed feelings after his side’s 1-0 victory over 10-man Sunderland was secured late on by another stunning Gareth Bale strike.
His goal and the result against the Black Cats at White Hart Lane was ultimately however not enough for Spurs to achieve a top four Premier League finish, as north London rivals Arsenal also won their final game of the season by the same scoreline at Newcastle to pip them.
Villas-Boas can now only look back with regret at the seven point advantage they had over the Gunners in the wake of their derby win back in March, as they prepare instead for another campaign in the Europa League.
He told Sky Sports: “We’re disappointed obviously. We wanted to make that final push but Arsenal did their job and managed to sneak the fourth spot.
“Obviously to manage so many points and to not make it means that the level has gone up.
“It’s a reference to next season that we’ve done better than last year in terms of points but not in terms of clarification. It means the others have pushed on a level and next year we have to improve once more.
“It’s a good lesson that we take into next season, but it’s a pity we missed out because normally it would have been enough to qualify.”