Jan Vertonghen warns Tottenham could be out of Champions League running before March

Defender calls on team to improve if they are to retain hope of finishing in top four

Jan Vertonghen has warned Tottenham to improve quickly or face missing the Champions League boat even before the end of the month.

The Belgium defender last week indicated he may look to leave White Hart Lane in the summer if Tim Sherwood's side do not secure a place in Europe's premier club competition next season.

Sunday's 1-0 victory over Cardiff at White Hart Lane consolidated fifth place in the Barclays Premier League, and Spurs now face Chelsea, Arsenal, Southampton and Liverpool in a pivotal March schedule which Vertonghen believes will make or break their European ambitions.

"We needed those three points, but we will have to improve because we are playing better sides in March," the 26-year-old said.

"It is not just Liverpool we are chasing; I think there are other teams who can drop down.

"We are just watching fourth place - it does not matter who we catch.

"It was not our best game (on Sunday) but we are back on track after losing to Norwich."

Liverpool are rumoured to be monitoring Vertonghen's situation, poised to pounce should the former Ajax defender make good on his Champions League threat should Tottenham miss out.

Spurs trail fourth-placed Manchester City by four points, but Manuel Pellegrini's men have two games in hand over their title-chasing rivals.

 

Tottenham take on leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, with 10 points separating the London clubs in the standings.

Vertonghen is braced for a battle against international team-mate Eden Hazard this weekend, but acknowledged Chelsea boast plenty other threats too.

"He is in good form and we will need to defend well against him," Vertonghen said.

"But it is not only Hazard. Andre Schurrle scored three times against Fulham, they have midfielders who can score goals and they are strong from set-plays.

"It will be an important game for both of us and we want a good result."

Roberto Soldado broke his two-month goal drought in Sunday's win over Cardiff, and Vertonghen reckons the pressure-release could fire the Spain striker into top form.

"It was a good goal and he needed that," he said.

"He is doing a lot of work for us without scoring goals but for himself, for the press and for everyone, it is good that he scored a goal to take the pressure off.

"Everyone saw the celebrations with him after the goal. We all like him and we are all very happy for him."

PA

Suggested Topics
News
In 2006, Pluto was reclassified as a 'dwarf planet'
scienceBut will it be reinstated?
Voices
voicesI like surprises - that's why I'm bringing them back to politics, writes Nigel Farage
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
news

As anti-Semitic attacks rise, Grant Feller re-evaluates his identity

Arts and Entertainment
Adam Levine plays a butcher who obsessively stalks a woman in Maroon 5's 'Animals' music video
music'Animals' video 'promotes sexual violence against women'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people Biographer says cinema’s enduring sex symbol led a secret troubled life
News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people

Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again

News
The moon observed in visible light, topography and the GRAIL gravity gradients
science

...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought

News
people
Life and Style
food and drink

Savoury patisserie is a thing now

News
Researchers say a diet of fatty foods could impede smell abilities
scienceMeasuring the sense may predict a person's lifespan
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?