Tottenham midfielder Nabil Bentaleb says boss Mauricio Pochettino has set his players the target of finishing in the top four this season.
The Londoners have made an inconsistent start to the campaign and sit eighth in the early table – two points behind current fourth-placed side Arsenal.
Early wins over West Ham and QPR were quickly followed by defeats against Liverpool and West Brom, while draws against Sunderland and then the Gunners in last weekend’s north London derby complete what has been an up-and-down start for Pochettino’s men.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is hoping the appointment of the highly-rated Argentinian coach will lead to Champions League qualification next May and Bentaleb says the squad have been given realistic targets to try and hit.
With the winners of the Europa League this season also gaining a play-off spot for next year’s Champions League competition, Spurs will be hoping to go as far as possible in that tournament in 2014-15 as they prepare to as they prepare to host Besiktas in their next group game on Thursday.
“We have targets, in the league it’s getting top four, in the Europa League it’s to go as far as we can to win it,” Bentaleb said.
“[Pochettino] came and he showed some great confidence. He told us that we could do something and we all think and believe we can achieve something in both.”
Following the Besiktas clash, Tottenham host Pochettino’s old club Southampton in the league on Sunday, with Spurs the 2.16 favourites. Saints are on offer at 3.31 with the draw available at 2.28.