Tottenham hungry for Europa League football, says Vertonghen

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The Belgium international admits he loves playing in Europe and feels his side have what it takes to go all the way in the competition if they can clinch qualification

Tottenham are determined to secure their place in the Europa League, according to defender Jan Vertonghen.

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Spurs finish off their Champions League Group E campaign against CSKA Moscow at Wembley on Wednesday but are unable to climb above Monaco and Bayer Leverkusen to clinch a last-16 berth.

Qualification to the Europa League will be secured if they avoid defeat against CSKA, although they have lost both of their Wembley fixtures in the competition so far.

Vertonghen says Spurs remain hungry for continental football and tipped the club for a run to the Europa League final.

"I love playing in Europe," he told a news conference. "Obviously I prefer to play in the Champions League but we have the squad and the fitness to cope with two games a week, and I prefer to play two games a week than just one, so we'll do everything to win that game.

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"We are very disappointed not to go through in the Champions League but Tottenham wants to win trophies, wants to compete at the highest level and the Europa League is a good competition, a perfect competition for us to compete for the final or to go as far as possible.

"As a club, we raised our standards and we're all here for that. Since the manager came, we created a new mentality and there's a lot of different things going on at this club that are very positive.

"The fact we are disappointed to be out of the Champions League is very positive, as that's where we want to play and where we belong as well."

Vertonghen, 29, signed a new contract last week and has set his sights on playing well into his 30s.

"It's very hard to finish your career at this level as it demands a lot of your body but I will try and I'm doing everything I can to stay as fit as possible to compete for as long as I can at this level," he added.

"Not a lot of players can play here until they're 36 or 37 but I will do my best to play here as long as I can."

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