Under-pressure Juande Ramos has insisted that Tottenham can still break into the English Premier League's top four this season, despite the London club's worst start to a league campaign in 34 years.
A 2-1 defeat by Aston Villa on Monday night left Spurs bottom of the table and angry fans vented their frustration over the transfer window departures of Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov by booing their side off at White Hart Lane.
But Ramos insisted his new-look squad, who have claimed one point from their first four matches, would start to move up the table once new signings have bedded in.
“We are behind in our preparations but we've only played four games,” the former Sevilla manager said. “Vedran Corluka, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Fraizer Campbell are new to the club and we haven't really had time to prepare with them.
“But we need to keep the spirit going and climb as high up the table as possible.
“We've made it an uphill struggle for ourselves but we have a young squad with plenty of quality and hopefully with calmness and experience we'll get a positive result and after that things could well change for us.”
Ramos could not disguise his frustration at Monday night's below-par display but refused to make goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes the scapegoat, despite the Brazilian gifting Villa their second goal, a 25-yard shot from Ashley Young that slipped under his body.
That put Villa 2-0 ahead after Nigel Reo-Coker's early goal and Darren Bent's deflected 87th-minute reply came too late for Tottenham to salvage anything from the match.
“I'm always angry at the end of games like this with the players and myself as well,” Ramos added. “The blame I give to the goalkeeper is the blame that is due to him, like the other players. On other occasions he also stopped them scoring goals. I think he was absolutely magnificent apart from that goal.”
The win left Villa fourth in the table and delighted manager Martin O'Neill said the “just brilliant” Young had proved he was “well worth a place in the England squad.”
The former Celtic manager added: “I thought we were sensational, the first-half performance was unbelievable.
“We can attack, can score goals and are a delight to watch when on form like that. In the second half we got a bit tired but we deserved to win the game.”
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