Tom targets top-four finish

Huddlestone was an ever-present for Harry Redknapp’s side last year
but he made just 21 appearances this term after an ankle injury in
November ruled him out for four months. The injury, which required
Huddlestone to undergo surgery, kept him out of Tottenham’s
Champions League last-16 tie with AC Milan before he returned to
action in April. A further setback with the same ankle kept him
sidelined for a month before he made his comeback in the 2-1
victory over Birmingham that secured Tottenham’s qualification to
the Europa League. The 24-year-old admits watching Spurs’ failed
Champions League qualification campaign from the sidelines has been
a frustrating experience but he now hopes to be a regular part of
the club’s push for a top-four finish next year. “It’s been very
frustrating, especially with the size of the games that we’ve
played and the ones I’ve missed,” Huddlestone said. “But injuries
happen and I’ve known for a couple of years that I would eventually
need an operation on my ankle, so it was sort of a case of when,
not if. “I had a little setback recently and they scanned and
X-rayed it, everything was fine and the surgeon was very happy with
the results. “I have only trained twice in the last three weeks, so
it was a little bit of a surprise for the manager to put me in from
the beginning against Birmingham but I felt OK. My ankle felt
decent enough. Once I got it moving again it felt all right.” Spurs
reached the quarter-finals in a remarkable debut season in the
Champions League, but their failure to secure a top-four finish has
disappointed some fans. Manager Harry Redknapp dismissed
suggestions that he had underachieved though, describing this
year’s campaign as the best since the Premier League began in 1992.
Huddlestone admits not playing among Europe’s elite will be a big
disappointment, but is convinced that the Londoners are capable of
finishing in the top four so long as they eradicate the
inconsistency that hit their league campaign in the final quarter
this year. “This season has been disappointing,” Huddlestone said.
“You want to better yourself every year. We are a few points
(eight) behind where we were last season and we’ve scored less
goals, which is also a disappointment. “This season was a learning
curve for us. We weren’t used to having to play massive games in
the Champions League. “Our main objective next season has got to be
to finish in the top four again. As Manchester City have shown, if
you are consistent towards the end of the season then you might be
able to finish in the top three.” Tottenham’s ability to hold on to
hold on to their star players like Luka Modric and Gareth Bale will
be key to their bid for Champions League qualification next year.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy wrote an open letter to fans ahead of
Sunday’s victory, which secured Birmingham’s relegation, assuring
them that any bids for the club’s top stars would be rejected.
Huddlestone hopes Levy sticks to his word, and highlighted Modric’s
importance to the team, saying: “It has taken us a few years to get
a squad together like this, so it would be a shame if we did (sell
our best players). “Luka is unbelievable. He has the best first
touch I’ve ever seen to take the ball away from a defender. I think
he has been fantastic again this season.”