Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood has backed his side to bounce back from its disappointing defeat against struggling Norwich City, but conceded his side will not qualify for the Champions League if it does not improve.
Robert Snodgrass's 47th-minute strike secured a much-needed three points for the Canaries against a below-par Spurs side, which lost only its second Premier League match under Sherwood.
Having seen fourth-placed Liverpool beat Swansea City earlier in the day to move six points ahead of Tottenham, Sherwood knows his side now has work to do if it is going to qualify for next season's Champions League.
"We’ve just got to get on with our own job," he told reporters. "We can’t rely on other people to lose every game and for us to qualify for the Champions League. It’s not going to happen.
“The gap [behind Liverpool] looks big, but we’ve got to bounce back now. We’ve got two games now, the second [Europa League] leg on Thursday then Cardiff at home next week. We need characters in the dressing room to do that. It’s the first major setback I’ve had, and we’re going to need to be spirited to come back and show what we’re made of.”
Having been in Europa League action in Ukraine on Thursday night, Sherwood refused to blame the travel for his side's sluggish display.
Instead he was left to rue missed opportunties in front of goal, and the performance of Norwich keeper with John Ruddy. Despite a host of chances, both Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado failed to find a way past the England international.
“The first-half performance was very disappointing. The second half wasn’t but it was too late, and if you don’t take your chances, which we clearly had, then you’re not going to win," Sherwood said. “We were strong in the second half so we can’t use traveling as an excuse. First half, we looked dead, but in the second half we were the far stronger side.
“We have started slowly in quite a lot of games this season. We didn’t against Newcastle and we saw the reward we got for that. Today we were sluggish. It was a nothing game in the first half, neither side did anything.
"We were happy to come in at 0-0 and were hoping to respond, but took a blow early on in the second half going behind to a sloppy goal," he continued. "We started playing from there. We created a few chances but unfortunately we couldn’t take them."