AVB putting Champions League first
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas admits Champions League qualification is more important than winning the Europa League this season.
The victory, combined with Chelsea’s defeat at Southampton, leaves the north London club well-placed to secure a top-four finish, although they are due to face a vital run of league meetings against Chelsea, Everton and Manchester City next month.
Tottenham are also challenging on the European front, and face Basle on Thursday in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final.
Villas-Boas insists he and his players will be fully focused when the Swiss side arrive at White Hart Lane.
He said: "We dream of winning trophies so our focus on the Europa League won’t shift. We understand that we have to keep the team fresh and we are able to rotate as we have top-quality players that allow us to do so.
"Now we are in the Europa League quarter-finals we can only dream of winning the trophy. It has the same importance as every game we play, although I understand that it is always the league position that determines the success of the season."
Despite their strong position, Villas-Boas knows the job of securing a place in European football’s premier competition is not done yet.
But he does not expect his side to struggle with the pressure of fending off the chasing pack.
"You always get comfortable when you are further ahead from the pack but the other teams are so near," he said. "It is not the first time that the other teams have been so near to us and it shifts every week. The fact that we are going to be third this week doesn’t put more or less doubt on ourselves or make us over-confident. We have to continue to do our job."
He added: "It will depend probably on the fixtures against the teams who have the same objectives as us. It may depend on what happens between Chelsea and Manchester United in the FA Cup as it could mean our game against them is postponed for later.
"But we have Everton, Manchester City and Chelsea to come, if we can gather points in those games it could be decisive in terms of our final place in the league."