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The Portuguese coach says his side are close to joining the elite teams in England after their 2-1 victory over Arsenal in the north London derby on Sunday afternoon

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has claimed his side are on the verge of becoming one of England's big clubs.

Spurs took a huge step toward sealing Champions League qualification on Sunday afternoon with a 2-1 victory over north London rivals Arsenal.

And the Portuguese believes that his players' desire to reach Europe's premier cup competition has helped the club to grow.

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"Everybody's ambition is to be there," Villas-Boas told the Independent. "The club could be propelled into a big club in England in the future. This club is taking massive steps in terms of investment in structures and players too.

"There is a great focus on trying to make this year the year we qualify for Champions League once again. Everybody is bonding together regarding our objective, the players have been absolutely outstanding, making it their objective. They make it public, they want to be in it, their desire has been tremendous in these recent games."

The former Chelsea boss went on to hail several members of his squad for their performances in the win over the Gunners at White Hart Lane.

"It was extremely pleasing, there were some great, great individual performances," Villas-Boas continued.

"We have to mention everybody, but [Gylfi] Sigurdsson did ever so well, [Scott] Parker – great, great game for him, Benoît [Assou-Ekotto] is improving in form and confidence."

The 35-year-old stopped short, however, of declaring Spurs' position in the top four safe, despite opening up a seven-point gap to Arsene Wenger's fifth-placed side.

"Last year when Arsenal won to shorten the gap to seven points it felt that everything was too possible for Tottenham's qualification and it shifted very, very quickly," he added.

"It's not a big margin yet for us to be completely safe," he added. "[The win] can have a direct effect on their motivation, and on ours too. Particularly on them, because we are on an upward spiral in terms of confidence and they are in a negative spiral in terms of results. And to be out of that negative spiral is extremely difficult.

"At the moment we keep our feet on the ground, still some difficult games to play against big teams – Liverpool, Chelsea and Man City plus Everton – teams who have the same objectives as ours, so it hasn't finished yet. Everything is still possible and we just have to gather the most amount of points we can."

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