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Premier League

Tottenham should not settle for top-four place, says Sandro


A top-four finish remains the first serious target for Andre Villas-Boas to achieve as Tottenham manager, but those working under him are starting to believe in even greater things.

There might be 13 points separating Spurs from Premier League leaders Manchester United and a six-point gap to make up on second-placed Manchester City after Saturday's 2-1 win at Sunderland, but there is an unmistakable confidence running through Villas-Boas' team.

"We can go for the top. Why not Spurs at the top this season?" said Sandro, the Brazilian who has helped inspire a run of six wins from eight matches in the league. He wants new targets to be set.

"We have a good coach, a good squad and everything is working well," said the Tottenham midfielder. "We have won a hard game at Sunderland, and Manchester City could not beat them here on Boxing Day.

"Nobody is speaking about Spurs. That suits us. But we are not content to just be a top-four side. We are looking up the table not down. I hope it carries on with nobody talking about Spurs as champions right until the end of the season. Then bang, we win. They will all be talking about Tottenham then. We believe we are as good as the top teams."

Spurs' spirit was evident at the Stadium of Light. Even when captain John O'Shea put Sunderland ahead five minutes before half-time, Villas-Boas' side emerged for the second half intent to make amends. It took them just five minutes to deliver.

There was the help of a Carlos Cuellar own goal and some woeful Sunderland defending for Aaron Lennon's second, although the bigger picture was that Tottenham looked a class act going forward. Again.

The majority of the Premier League are likely to be envious of a four-pronged attack involving Lennon, Gareth Bale, Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe. And that is before Villas-Boas has a chance to invest in the squad next month.

However, there is little danger of the manager getting complacent after last season's frustrations at Chelsea.

The Portuguese, who has Bale ruled out of tomorrow's visit of Reading through suspension after another booking for diving he claims was unfair, said: "The Champions League is the objective of the club. It's not something that we need to get this first year, we're still rebuilding a team that lost very, very important players, but that's what makes us tick that's for sure."