Tottenham must beat Liverpool in order to qualify for Champions League, says Jan Vertonghen

Victory over Everton at the weekend moves Spurs into fifth position

Jan Vertonghen is enjoying life under Tim Sherwood but fears Tottenham will miss out on a Champions League berth should they fail to win at Liverpool next month.

The fourth-placed Reds' 5-1 mauling of Arsenal on Saturday put extra pressure on Spurs and fellow Champions League hopefuls Everton when they met little over 24 hours later at White Hart Lane.

Emmanuel Adebayor's strike proved the difference as Sherwood's side picked up a somewhat fortuitous 1-0 victory, which saw them usurp Roberto Martinez's side in fifth and move within three points of Liverpool.

Spurs will hope to close the gap further with a positive result at Newcastle on Wednesday, but defender Vertonghen already has half an eye on what could prove a decisive clash with the Reds at Anfield on March 30.

"We probably need a win, so we will go for that," the Belgium international said.

"It was a bad day for us when we lost 5-0 at home to Liverpool in December but that game didn't reflect our strengths compared with theirs.

"We beat them at home last year and we went 2-1 up at Anfield last March, where we were the better side (Spurs eventually lost 3-2). That was one of our better performances last season.

"But we can do much better than we did against Everton. We play at Newcastle on Wednesday but then we have the time to train before we play Norwich and that's the most important thing.

"We need to work on our shape and our movement and then the sharpness will be there. Tim now has a chance to work on our shape. Until now, he has done a very good job. The club and the players believe in him."

Those sentiments were echoed last week by frontman Adebayor, who praised Sherwood for reinstating him following Andre Villas-Boas' departure.

The 29-year-old was marginalised by the Portuguese during the first half of the campaign, but has impressed under the new head coach, scoring six goals in nine Premier League matches.

"Adebayor is back and has been unbelievable," Vertonghen said. "Just one player coming in can sometimes affect the team.

"When we played Liverpool and lost 5-0 (in Villas-Boas's last match at the helm), we had a lot of injuries and sometimes a manager can be unlucky.

"Of course, he had the Adebayor thing and some difficult business to take care of.

"We lost against the big teams and that is why we couldn't compete for the top-three places."

The top-four race looks to be a three-way battle between Tottenham and the two Merseyside clubs.

Everton will look to get back on track when Crystal Palace visit Goodison Park on Wednesday, with Martinez planning to use the disappointment of defeat in north London as catalyst for victory.

"It is important we focus now on Crystal Palace and we will try to get rid of the frustration in that performance," the Spaniard said.

"There are many games left and there will be many twists and turns. What we can't do is get too disappointed by the scoreline.

"Obviously we want to win games but our performance merited a good scoreline. When you do that it is a matter of keeping playing good football and the points will come."

PA

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
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

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy