Antonio Conte says Tottenham top four miracle “depends on Man Utd”


The Italian believes it will take something special for Spurs to finish above both Arsenal and Man Utd in the race for the top four, despite being just three points behind their north London rivals

Tottenham Hotspur are firmly in the race to finish in the top four this season but Antonio Conte believes that it will still take ‘a miracle’ for his side to achieve UEFA Champions League football.

Spurs are currently fifth and just three points behind fourth-placed Arsenal heading into this weekend and could even leapfrog their north London rivals should they beat Newcastle United on Sunday, with the Gunners not playing until Monday.

But Conte remains adamant that finishing in the top four will be “very, very difficult” despite being well in the mix. When asked about Spurs’ hopes of finishing in the top four, he said: “It’s right to underline that this target is very, very difficult. We are not the only team that wants to try to do this miracle. There’s also Arsenal that in this moment has an advantage, and then there is United.

“United is the [top] team that in this season are struggling a lot. Last season, it was Liverpool. Otherwise in England, I continue to repeat, you play for other targets. Because there are a top four, who at this moment are stronger clubs than the others, for many reasons.

“And this season it depends on United. At the moment we are among the teams that have to try to stay very close and exploit if someone fails this season. If you ask me about the past, about our possibility to reach a place in the Champions League, I could say to do it’d be very, very, very difficult.”

The biggest problem for Spurs is constantly having to play catch-up, and although they’ve now overtaken Man Utd in the table by one point, they are still behind their biggest rivals, who also have a game in hand.

The Red Devils are still in with a shout of the top four and are only four points behind the Gunners, but their inconsistency is reason to believe that they could finish below both the sides currently above them.

Fortunately for Spurs, Arsenal’s game in hand is away to Chelsea, while the rescheduled north London derby still needs to take place. But all Conte’s side can keep doing is keep on winning in the hope that Arteta’s outfit slips up.

When asked if the pressure would be on Arsenal should Spurs win on Sunday, Conte said: “First of all, we have to win for us. Not look at others. This way you build a winning mentality. You have to look at yourself and not think what happens elsewhere.

“For sure, if you get three points and get continuity, you show you’re a stable team and the table becomes very interesting. But we have to win for us, for our fans and the work we’re doing at the club. But for sure to win you put pressure on the others.”