Following his team’s UEFA Europa League quarterfinal loss to FC Basel on penalties, Tottenham forward Clint Dempsey said that Spurs’ season would be deemed a failure if it fails to qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season. Dempsey, who scored both of Tottenham’s goals during the 2-2 draw at St Jacob Park on Thursday, said the club would have little to be proud of this season if it does not finish in the top four of the English Premier League this season. Spurs currently occupies the fourth and final Champions League spot for next season, but is only two points ahead of 5th-place Arsenal, which has a game in hand, with just six games left to play.
“We have to make sure we finish in the top four and we’re in the Champions League next year,” the U.S. international said. “That’s the only thing we can do to salvage this season and say we had a good year. That’s what we’re focusing on. Is it as black and white as that? Yes, because that’s been the goal for the season. We wanted to go as far as we could in all competitions and try to win something. We’ve not been able to do that so the only thing we have left to play for is a Champions League place.”
The Texan noted that it’s not going to be easy. “It’s just going to be a grind until the end of the season and I think it will come down to the last game.”
Due to Chelsea’s FA Cup semifinal with Manchester City this weekend, Spurs has 10 days off before its next league game, which happens to be against City. Coach Andre Villas-Boas hopes that star man Gareth Bale and winger Aaron Lennon will have returned from injury by then.