Andre Villas-Boas believes Tottenham need 16 points from their remaining eight Premier League games to ensure they retain fourth place and qualify for the Champions League – a run-in during which he expects his side to be boosted by Younes Kaboul's return.
The centre-half has not featured since the opening match of the season, against Newcastle, but is now back in training following knee surgery and is two weeks away from a return to action, according to Villas-Boas. With Spurs still involved in the Europa League the club face a potentially frenetic end to the season. Tomorrow's game at Swansea City begins a run of five games in 16 days and a fit Kaboul (right) would provide a timely fillip.
Spurs sit fourth, a point behind Chelsea, four ahead of Arsenal and six better off than Everton, having played a game more. "Normally 70 is enough for you to be within those four [Champions League] spots," said Villas-Boas. "For us to make 70 is 16 more points."
Spurs have lost their last three games, two of them in the league and, most damagingly, a home defeat by Fulham in their last outing before the international break.
"The worst one was Fulham in terms of performance but it came as a consequence of extra-time being played in Milan," said Villas-Boas, referring to the Europa League win over Internazionale. "There are eight games until the season finishes – most of the teams will have to pull their act together and we are exactly the same."