Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has ferociously insisted that he would not accept his side finishing in fourth place come the end of the season, despite Spurs teetering on undoing their bright start to the season.
Spurs are currently languishing in seventh place, three points off fourth and 21 points off top, after winning just two league games in their last seven, compared to five wins from their seven before that.
Pochettino's side face a stern battle in cementing themselves into the top four and qualifying for next season's Champions League, but when asked if, at this stage of the season, he would be happy to finish fourth he was quick to shut the idea down.
He said, via the Telegraph: “No. Do I want higher than that? Yes, of course. I am not a comfortable person. I love to take a risk.
Tottenham's awful season has been overshadowed by their group stage exploits in the Champions League. Sitting in 7th in the Premier League, Spurs have looked very poor in the league this season and are at real risk of missing out on a top 4 spot if they don't turn it around.— EiF (@EiFSoccer) December 16, 2017
“I feel I am a winner. Sometimes the winners lose too and they have to lose to feel the pain. But I never accept a result before it is played. Never.”
Spurs face a tough test against one of the surprise packets of the season in Burnley on Saturday, before a run of five games in 18 days. A packed fixture list which comes merely days following his side's 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Manchester City.
However, Pochettino is confident his side will bounce back as he added: “The reaction will be good. The team trust each other and what we are doing. Always the ambition is to be as high as possible and we know we need to win in this busy period.
“We need to keep going. Belief is so important, to change the dynamic, win games and be close to the top four. It is a long way until the end of the season.
With Tottenham's meeting with Burnley earlier in the season resulting in a draw following a late Chris Wood equaliser, Pochettino is aware of the challenge Sean Dyche's side will pose on the weekend.
He said: “I was so frustrated with that situation as we dominated the game and the way we dropped two points was terrible for us.
“At home they are a very tough side and for us it’s a massive three points. We are going to have a very tough game and we need to be ready to fight. It will be a battle.”