Football News

Villas-Boas still battling for fourth place

Created on May. 18, 2013 5:33 PM EST

Andre Villas-Boas has not given up hope of finishing fourth in the Premier League this season.

In order for Tottenham to finish in the UEFA Champions League qualifying places, they must beat Sunderland in their final league game and hope that Newcastle beat Arsenal, otherwise they will qualify for the UEFA Europa League in fifth place.

Three points against Sunderland will also see Tottenham record their highest Premier League points total - their record currently stands at 70 in 2009-10, but with Villas-Boas' side currently sitting on 69 points they could beat that tally.

The 35-year-old remains positive that his side could still usurp their North London rivals, and was confident Alan Pardew's side would not give Arsenal an easy victory.

"In the last game of the season anything can happen," he said. "I would expect them (Newcastle) to do their job properly.

"Obviously their objectives have been achieved but everyone wants to finish the season on a high and I think it will be a competitive game."

The Portuguese manager also remained hopeful that Gareth Bale would remain with the club even if they failed to achieve UEFA Champions League qualification.

Bale is Tottenham's top scorer this season with 20 league goals and Villas Boas admitted that he would do everything he could to keep him at White Hart Lane.

"Yes (Bale will stay), I think so," he continued. "Our interest is for the player to continue here but we have made it very clear that whatever happens the idea is for the player to be with us next season."

Speculation surrounding players coming into the club had linked Barcelona's David Villa and Ante Rebic from RNK Split.

Villa has had a tough season at Camp Nou, as although he is now back to full fitness, he has had limited opportunities in the first team. 
Villas-Boas acknowledged the qualities of Spain's all-time leading international scorer, but insisted he was focused on Tottenham's clash with Sunderland rather than potential additions to the squad.

"He is one of the world's best strikers," he added about Villa.

"What comes out of speculation at this time at Tottenham is very surreal because you know the club is very active in the last weeks of the transfer window, so you can see that speculation is growing - but at the moment we are focused on trying to get fourth spot."

He was, however, much clearer on speculation surround 19-year-old Rebic. 
"I have no idea who this player is, I'm sorry. I don't know where this news has come form, not out of disrespect to the player but he's not someone I'm looking at."

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