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WOODGATE: Let's push on towards Europe

PUBLISHED: 14:25 19 March 2009 | UPDATED: 16:02 07 September 2010

JONATHAN Woodgate this week mirrored the growing confidence at Tottenham by targeting a place in Europe next season. The central defender, superb in Sunday s 2-1 win at Villa, feels Spurs can build on their newly acquired mid-table position. The Lilywhite

JONATHAN Woodgate this week mirrored the growing confidence at Tottenham by targeting a place in Europe next season.

The central defender, superb in Sunday's 2-1 win at Villa, feels Spurs can build on their newly acquired mid-table position.

The Lilywhites, who have been embroiled in a relegation struggle all season, have now moved to 11th in the table after shocking fourth-placed Villa. On Saturday, they entertain title-chasing Chelsea at the Lane.

Tottenham are now six points clear of the drop zone and just five behind seventh-placed West Ham. The team finishing seventh is expected to secure a place in the revamped Europa League next season.

"Winning at Villa was a big result for us," said Woodgate. "I would rather be optimistic than pessimistic. I'd rather look up than down and try and win as many games as we can.

"We are on a good run. Europe? We have a chance but let's not get carried away. We have a lot of work to do still, a lot of teams to play around us as well, so hopefully we can involved in it."

Spurs have lost only once in their past seven Premier League games and that run will be severely tested by Guus Hiddink's Blues on Saturday.

"We are more resilient," said Woodgate. "We graft and we have two midfielders in Wilson Palacios and Jermaine Jenas who work hard. That has got to be a telling factor, particular in our away games.

"That is what the manager demands. In a football side you have to do all the ugly things before you start playing with the ball. Palacios is proving his worth. He has been a good signing for us."

Woodgate also picked out striker Darren Bent for special praise. "I said at the start of the season, play Bent and he will score goals for us," he said. "He's got 15 already. He's a goalscorer and he is forming a good partnership with Robbie Keane."

pat.mooney@hamhigh.co.uk

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