Gareth Bale is confident Tottenham will seal qualification for next season's Champions League and believes the club's disappointing form in the second half of the 2011-12 campaign has proven to be a positive learning experience.
The north Londoners finished fourth in the Premier League last season but Chelsea claimed the final Champions League place by winning the competition.
Bale insists that Spurs are a more assured team this season under Andre Villas-Boas and has predicted that they will maintain their grip on a place in the top four despite pressure from the likes of Arsenal.
"We have learned from our mistakes from previous years and now we can be a lot stronger going in to the finishing end of the season so I hope we can do it," Bale told Tottenham's official website. "In recent years we have kind of gone off the boil a little at this time of the season but I think the lads have got a lot more confidence."
Tottenham was indebted to Bale's two goals and match-winning performance in its 2-1 victory over Newcastle on Saturday, but the Wales winger was angry with his failure to secure a hat trick.
"I was absolutely fuming [that I didn't get a hat trick]," he admitted. "I missed a few chances, especially the one with my right foot, but the most important thing was that we got the three points to put the pressure on the teams above us and below.
"I am enjoying my game at the moment and the team is playing well, which always makes it easier."
- Sports & Recreation