Crouch: Pressure is on City

Spurs sit two points behind City with five matches remaining after

Wednesday night’s pulsating 3-3 draw with Arsenal at White Hart

Lane. A win against their neighbours would have drawn Tottenham

level with Roberto Mancini’s men, who have their tails up after

dumping Manchester United out of the FA Cup last weekend. With

Liverpool seemingly out of the hunt for fourth, the battle for the

final Champions League qualification position mirrors last year’s

contest – when Spurs overtook their rich north-west rivals by

claiming four wins from their last six games, with one of those

victories coming at Eastlands. With Mancini having parted with over

£150million to help him succeed where he failed last year,

Crouch feels the onus is on the Italian and his team rather than

Spurs. “They’re under more pressure than we are,” Crouch said.

“That doesn’t make us have any less desire to get in there but we

have probably got a bit more freedom than them. “There is pressure

on us too, though, because we’ve loved every minute of being in the

Champions League this year. It’s been fantastic. “That’s what we

want next season. We’ve proved we can play against the best and

that’s where we want to be again next year.” Crouch’s tap-in at

Eastlands in Tottenham’s penultimate game of last season ensured

that Spurs would dine at Europe’s top table for the first time

since 1962. He admits that Spurs’ visit to Eastlands on May 10 this

year may prove to be decisive in this season’s battle for a

lucrative place in the Champions League. “I hope it comes down to

that match again. I enjoyed that last year, it was great,” Crouch

added. “It will be like a cup final in many ways. “This year they

will be trying all out. I don’t think they’ll maybe go as easy as

they did last year. We were fantastic there last year and hopefully

we can repeat that.” Crouch admits Wednesday night’s draw all but

ends Arsenal’s hopes of winning the Premier League now that they

are six points behind leaders Manchester United. The England

striker has title ambitions of his own, which match those of

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp. Redknapp believes his side’s

credentials have been shown in Europe this year, when they beat AC

Milan and Inter Milan on the way to making it into the Champions

League quarter-finals. Spurs have beaten Arsenal and Liverpool in

the league this year but have thrown away points by losing to the

likes of Wigan, Blackpool, West Ham and Bolton. With fixtures

against the Tangerines, Birmingham and West Brom on Saturday to

come before the end of the season, Crouch admits Spurs must become

more clinical when facing teams they are expected to beat. “It

looks like Arsenal’s title challenge is over but I’m not worried

about Arsenal, I’m worried about us, as our main objective is to

get fourth,” Crouch said. “Against the top teams we’ve been

magnificent for a couple of years but to have any aspiration of

winning the league, you have to make sure you win games against

lower teams in the division. “We’ve slipped up a few times this

season. They’re the most frustrating ones to have dropped. On the

big occasion and big games we’ve proved we can play against

anyone.” On the flip side, the fact that Spurs have raised their

game against the bigger teams this year could play into Tottenham’s

hands given that they still have to face Chelsea, City and

Liverpool. “That will suit us. We’ll raise our game and get points

out of those games and hopefully that will be enough for us,”

Crouch said.