Tottenham forward Clint Dempsey wants his team to push for Champions League qualification after their Europa League exit on Thursday.
Spurs occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot in the Premier League, but are being chased by Arsenal and Everton, who lie two and six points behind respectively – both with a game in hand over Andre Villas-Boas men.
Dempsey said being knocked out of Europe by Swiss side Basel could help Spurs rest without midweek fixtures, and he feels it is imperative the team focuses on the Premier League now with the aim of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
“We’re frustrated we’re not in this competition any more, but we have to regroup and we have to focus on the league,” the 30-year-old told reporters.
“We have to make sure we finish in fourth place and make sure we’re in the Champions League next year.
“That’s the only thing we can do to salvage this season and say we had a good year. That’s been the goal for the season.
“It’s important that we get into the Champions League.”
“The break will help, because the more players you have fit, the more competition there is for spots.
“You need that push towards the end because it’s going to be difficult.
“We’ve got some difficult games. We’ve got Chelsea, we’ve got Man City, so we’re going to need everyone fit and fighting to try to push for that Champions League.
“It’s not going to be given to you. You have to fight until the end and we’re still in with a shout to make that happen.”