Jose Mourinho has admitted ahead of the North London derby on Sunday that his side are looking to catch the teams who are above them in the Premier League table rather than looking down.
Tottenham looked to be out of the top four race just a few weeks ago but three back-to-back wins in the Premier League has helped the club claw their way back into the fight for Champions League qualification.
Spurs need three points on Sunday to keep pace with the likes of Leicester City and Chelsea but a win at the Emirates would also take Tottenham ten points clear of Arsenal in the table and give them a great chance of finishing above their fierce rivals for the fifth season in a row.
When asked if finishing above the Gunners for a fifth straight season would signal that the balance of power in North London had shifted towards his team, Mourinho told Football.London: “I want to be respectful, I don’t want to go in that direction.
“I’m very proud to be at Tottenham, I have the feeling every day that I work at a big club, but in spite of the rivalry between us and Arsenal I want to be respectful.
“Arsenal is a big club with a big history, a little bit like us they’re trying to build a better future. I have total respect for them.
“I look up, I don’t look down. If Arsenal were seven points ahead of us, I would look to them, but because we have seven points more than them, I don’t look down.
“At the same time though, we look always to the next match and if instead of Arsenal it was Villa or Newcastle, the next matches we’re going to play, exactly the same feeling.”
The Tottenham boss also insisted that the table does not reflect the true position and quality of the Spurs squad and admitted that the players are focussed on winning as many matches as possible to move up the standings.
He added: “We feel we’re better than the position we have in the table and we want to improve our position so we need points for that.
“It doesn’t matter the opponent, doesn’t matter if it is a London derby – in fact it’s the third in a row in the Premier League.
“It’s a Premier League match, three points are there to fight for and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Making up the ground to the top four should obviously be our main focus but the fact that a win on Sunday will essentially guarantee that we finish above Arsenal yet again will also be quite important for Spurs fans.
However, if we were to lose on Sunday, the gap between the two clubs would narrow down to only 3 points which would be quite ominous going into the final few games of the season.
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