Tottenham Hotspur is confident it can finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League as long as it is still mathematically possible, interim manager Cristian Stellini said on Friday.
Spurs dropped out of the top four following the sacking of Antonio Conte last month and sit fifth in the league standings with 53 points having played a game more than fourth-placed Newcastle United, who have 56.
Spurs’ hopes of playing in the Champions League next season were dented last weekend after they lost 3-2 at home to Bournemouth and Stellini said the game at St James’ Park will not make things any easier.
“I think until the maths gives us reason to stop believing, until that moment we will continue to believe, continue to push and play to reach (the top four),” the Italian told reporters ahead of Sunday’s trip to Newcastle.
“We’ve had one week to recharge after the last game and we had a good week.
“This is one of the worst stadiums to play in terms of the atmosphere power, but we have a good squad and I believe in the players at the club. We are prepared to play.”
Spurs have had a rough season with only a top-four league finish to challenge for having been knocked out of the FA Cup and Champions League last month.
“It is a long history, this season, because many things happened and we lived a difficult period with a lot of situations, humanly and with many injured players,” Stellini said.
“It was a difficult season but I think also that we fight all season against fate, against all our problems and this is important to grow like a man, like a team. For me the players are continuing to fight to reach the target.”
Stellini said Spurs were aware of the many threats posed by Eddie Howe’s Newcastle, who have won five of their last six games.
“When you play against a team like this you have to prepare well for the game because they have a lot of options to use and a lot of good players,” Stellini said.
“You have to take care of many aspects but we are strong enough to be prepared and to play a good match.”
Stellini said defenders Ben Davies and Clement Lenglet are back in training but are not ready to play this weekend.
Latest on Sportstar
- Tsitsipas blasts past Ofner to make French Open quarter-finals
- Duplantis sets new 2023 pole vault best
- Champion Napoli ends season with 2-0 win over bottom side Sampdoria
- Benzema scores on farewell but Real held at home by Bilbao
- RMA 1-1 ATH; La Liga Highlights: Benzema goal helps Real Madrid secure draw against Athletic Bilbao