Tottenham Hotspur have regrouped in impressive fashion, and in little time.
Hosting Hull City Tigers twice in four days may just get Spurs rolling again.
After continuing their dominance in European competition, the Lilywhites return to the Premier League looking for a third straight overall victory Sunday against Hull.
Tottenham (5-1-2) followed last weekend's 2-0 road win over Aston Villa with a victory by the same score at Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday in the Europa League.
That was a welcome change after Spurs were outscored 4-1 while going 0-1-1 in their previous two league matches - both at home. That stretch only led to questions about whether they're capable of mounting a serious run at a top-four finish.
"We have to continue to play like this, to keep winning," midfielder Sandro told the team's official website. "Now we feel good again, and confident we can keep it going."
The fixtures may play into their favour if they're going to continue to build momentum.
Tottenham's next two games are against Hull at White Hart Lane, with Wednesday's meeting coming in the Capital One Cup. Despite the recent struggles at the Lane, Spurs are 4-1-1 there this season across all competitions while outscoring opponents 9-0 in those victories.
Hull City, meanwhile, have lost three of four matches as the visitors in league play, including last weekend's 2-1 defeat at Everton. That came two weeks after they played Villa to a goalless draw at home.
The Tigers mustered one shot on target in each of those matches, and their 19 on the season is only one more than league-worst Sunderland.
Despite those offensive issues, manager Steve Bruce is still encouraged.
"It is the way the players are approaching it that pleases me," Bruce told the team's official website. "They go out and really have a go. We did that at Everton and gave them a scare. It was a game that could have gone either way.
"I don't think I could have asked for anything more from the players."
Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas may be feeling the same way after his club's midweek victory in Moldova put them comfortably atop their Europa League group with a 3-0-0 record.
"We had to work hard," he told the team's official website. "Still, it was a very good performance - another trip, nine points. The players are putting everything into it and again."
Jermain Defoe, who has a team-leading eight goals across all competitions, is looking to build on his goal against Sheriff after scoring just once over the previous four matches.
The forward has three goals in two meetings versus Hull, but they all came in a 5-1 road victory on Aug. 19, 2009.
Defoe and his teammates will see a familiar face lineup against them Sunday, when Tom Huddlestone makes his return to North London following his transfer to Hull.
"It will be an exciting game going back there after spending eight years with them," Huddlestone said. "It's going to be special in that sense. But from our point of view, we've got to try and get some more points on the board so it will only really be a good day if we can get a positive result.
"Those years at Tottenham have formed most of my career so far."
- Sports & Recreation
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Europa League
- Aston Villa
- Premier League