Gylfi Sigurdsson: Beating Arsenal will not ensure Champions League qualification for Tottenham
The sides meet in the north London derby this Sunday
Wednesday 27 February 2013
Midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson has warned the race for Champions League football will not be over even if Tottenham beat arch-rivals Arsenal at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
Gareth Bale's superb goal in injury-time secured a hard-fought 3-2 win at West Ham on Monday night, which moved Spurs up into third place in the Barclays Premier League and four points ahead of the Gunners, who are fifth.
Sigurdsson, though, maintains his side can not take their foot off the gas even if Arsene Wenger's men get a sound beating at White Hart Lane.
"It is going to be a massive game for us," said the Iceland international, who bundled in his first Premier League goal for Spurs which sparked a late comeback at Upton Park.
"However, anything is possible in football. The league was won in the last minute on the last day, so even if we beat them it is not finished.
"First, though, we have to beat them to start thinking about that.
"It will be a great atmosphere. Hopefully we can get a win and stay above Chelsea.
"We want to get in to the Champions League, that is our aim. If we achieve that, we want to finish as high as we can."
The form of Wales international Bale has been key to Tottenham's drive up the table, with eight goals in his last six matches - many of which proving key.
The 23-year-old has been compared to the best around in the game at the moment.
Sigurdsson feels there is plenty more to come from his all-action team-mate.
"Probably Cristiano (Ronaldo), (Lionel) Messi and Gareth are up there, they are all outstanding players and Gareth showed it again at the end that he can do something special," he said.
"I hope he can continue developing over the next few years and do something amazing
"He still has a few years to go to reach his peak because he is still young and you probably hit your peak when you are 27."
Sigurdsson had to again be content with a place on the bench on Monday night, introduced in the second half and popping up in a crowded six-yard box to bundle the ball into the net to level at 2-2 with 14 minutes left.
The 23-year-old joined Spurs from Reading in an £8million deal last summer but after struggling for a regular start, Tottenham are understood to have accepted three bids during January - one from his former club.
Sigurdsson, though, hopes his efforts against the Hammers will prove he can be part of Andre Villas-Boas' future plans.
"After getting the first league goal, I felt about 10 stone lighter than I did before. It is why I came to a club like Tottenham, to play games like the one at West Ham and win them in the last minute," he said.
"I am enjoying it, even though it has been quite tough, especially with me not scoring in the league.
"Hopefully that goal will give me a bit of confidence and luck and I can keep going."
Sigurdsson added: "Regarding the Reading bids, the club just said no. If they hadn't, I would have had something to think about and make up my mind, but it never got to that stage.
"The situation now is that we want to do everything we can to get into the Champions League.
"That is how ambitious the players and staff are and we want to succeed because the club deserves Champions League football."
Tottenham, meanwhile, today confirmed following discussions with UEFA a security officer will be appointed for the second leg of the club's Europa League fixture against Inter Milan on March 14.
Spurs fans have been victims of violent attacks in recent European away matches, with trouble in Lyon last week following on from incidents in Rome ahead of the game against Lazio.
A club statement added: "During our discussions we shall also be looking to cover the issue of police protection the preceding evening for our supporters."
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