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Villas-Boas looks ahead to crucial fixtures

By Football News



Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas says his side's Champions League fate will be decided in games with Manchester City and Chelsea.

Spurs have won just once in their last six matches, and a similar late run of poor form last season saw the club finish a point behind Arsenal in fourth and miss out on the competition in place of tournament-winners Chelsea.

The north London side are now behind the Blues on goal difference in fourth and two points ahead of the Gunners in fifth, but have played a game more than each of their rivals.

"Arsenal's game in hand is against Everton, so something is going to happen," Villas-Boas told reporters.

"Everton probably have the toughest calendar and we probably have the second-worst with matches against Manchester City and Chelsea. I think it depends on those results."

Spurs have missed out on the Champions League two years running after finishing fifth under Harry Redknapp in 2011, but the former Porto boss says they will not let past disappointments affect their mindset.

"We don't look at ghosts in the past," Villas-Boas added. "It definitely looks like it's going to go down to the wire with these teams.

"The reality is that Arsenal feel their belief because they finish seasons very strongly and that belief helps them."

The north London club have reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League but another late-season fade out has prompted suggestions that the team are suffering from fatigue, having also suffered injuries to key attackers Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe in recent weeks.

Villas-Boas, however, did not accept this and insisted Sunday's 2-2 draw against sixth-place Everton was a good result after Gylfi Sigurdsson's late equaliser.

"It's nothing to do with our tiredness," he said. "It was important for us to salvage a point because, against teams who fight for the same objectives, the only thing you cannot do is lose.

"It was a good performance by the team, individually and collectively, although not the result that we wanted. It means everybody is tied together for the spots."