Dempsey feels home tension

  • Last Updated: April 8 2013, 14:06 BST

Clint Dempsey claims White Hart Lane has been gripped by a tense atmosphere which is making playing for Tottenham at home a more "stressful" experience.

Clint Dempsey: 'It's been tense'
Clint Dempsey: 'It's been tense'

Clint Dempsey

2. Clint Dempsey

Title Number
Appearances 11 (2)
Goals 5
Assists 0
Yellows 0
Reds 0
*Current Season

Tottenham surrendered the initiative in the battle for fourth place when they registered a 2-2 draw against Everton thanks to Gylfi Sigurdsson's 87th-minute strike.

Although they were seven points ahead of Arsenal last month, Tottenham will now slip a point behind the Gunners should they win their next game against Norwich on Saturday.

Injuries have played a big part in derailing Tottenham's Champions League hopes of late, but so has their form at White Hart Lane, where they have won eight times this year - compared to the nine they have registered on the road.

Spurs have collected the same amount of points on their travels as they have done at home this season and Dempsey admits White Hart Lane has become a tense place of late.

Asked about the tension, the Spurs forward said: "That's the way it's kind of been the last few games at home. It's been tense. I've felt like that's how the atmosphere has been.

"I don't know if it has been affecting performances. It's been noticeable, in the last three home games (against Everton, Fulham and Basle). There are a few teams right there in the fight for the Champions League and it makes it more interesting for people to watch.

"It's a little bit more stressful but it's a good stress. At least we're pushing to try to get that spot. It's going to come to the end and, hopefully, we have enough character to get the job done.

"You've got to play. You've got to keep going and do everything you can to help the team. The race for a top-four finish will be a fight all the way until the end. We would have liked all three points against Everton but it was an important point."

Emmanuel Adebayor stifled any initial jitters in the first minute when he put Spurs ahead, but poor defending allowed Phil Jagielka and Kevin Mirallas to put Everton on course for victory until Sigurdsson's late leveller.

With games against Manchester City and Chelsea on the horizon, Tottenham may have to win all six of their remaining games to secure the top-four berth they have held for most of the second half of the season.

Lewis Holtby, drafted in to replace the injured Aaron Lennon, admits the draw was a blow, but still backed the team to come through.

The German said: "It was a good performance in the second half but if we want to play in the Champions League, we want to win those games.

"We've still got decisive games against Manchester City at home and away at Chelsea.

"It's about professionalism, and playing at a big club. If you play a lot of games in your career, you get that calmness as well.

"If you look at the whole season, all the effort we have put in, I think we deserve [to qualify for the Champions League] but it's got to be done at the end."

The good news for Spurs is that they expect to have Lennon, Jermain Defoe and star man Gareth Bale back for their next league game against Manchester City on April 21.

Defender Younes Kaboul is also making good progress on his comeback from a serious knee injury.

The 27-year-old has not played since the opening day of the season after aggravating a knee injury, but he is in the squad for tonight's Under-21 match against West Ham at Upton Park.

Should he come through that match, the former Portsmouth man could be in contention for Tottenham's away trip to Basle on Thursday, although a more realistic comeback game would be the clash with Barclays Premier League champions City.


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