Villas-Boas: Tottenham focus on Europa League won't shift

Spurs face a demanding schedule but their Portuguese coach insists he is not willing to sacrifice progress in Europe for the sake of Champions League qualification
Andre Villas-Boas insists Tottenham will stay focused on the Europa League and must get used to dealing with fixture congestion as they seek fourth place and Champions League qualification.

In the next two weeks Spurs face Sunday fixtures against their top four rivals Everton at home and then Chelsea away, but each game is preceded by a match on Thursday in the two legs of their Europa League quarter-final against Basel.

Villas-Boas intends to fight on both fronts however, and told The Times: "We dream of winning trophies so our focus on the Europa League won’t shift.

"The fixture calendar is very tight and every top team that plays in Europe has to deal with this set of circumstances. It is something you have to get used to if you want to become a top team.

"For us it is probably a new experience and it has not happened since Tottenham played Real Madrid in the 2011 Champions League quarter-finals."

The last time Spurs were competing in the Champions League, Villas-Boas was busy leading his Porto side to a Portuguese league title and Europa League double and the 35-year-old believes that experience will help ensure his current charges are able to cope with the demands of the run-in.

"We understand that we have to keep the team fresh and we rotate the team, and we are able to rotate as we have those top-quality players that allow us to do so," he explained.

"For any team in the world the league position is the decisive factor for the success of the season and how good you have been.

"You always get comfortable when you are farther ahead from the pack but the teams are so near. But the fact that we are third doesn’t put more or less doubt on ourselves or make us overconfident."