x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Reaching Champions League vital for Tottenham

Joe Jordan, the assistant coach, believes the prospect of European football will help the club keep their biggest stars.

Joe Jordan, the Tottenham Hotspur assistant manager, has highlighted the importance to the club of returning to the Champions League next season.

Spurs' European adventure last season resulted in a 42 per cent rise in profits and, Jordan claims, enabled them to keep their best players.

And he believes as well as the financial importance to the club, finishing in the top four of the Premier League will convince players such as Gareth Bale and Luka Modric they can realise their ambitions by staying at White Hart Lane. Tottenham host Aston Villa tonight having won seven of their last eight league games, which has taken them to just below the top four.

Jordan, who expects Harry Redknapp to take charge for the Villa match after the manager's recovery from heart surgery, said: "The Champions League to the club is huge money.

"The rewards are there as well if we get back in the Champions League because we have the players, or we hope to have the players.

"Not only do we have them but we want to keep them and entice players in, because players want to play at that level because it is the top. It is what you are striving for.

"I'm sure the figures bear out how important it is financially to qualify for the Champions League. From the dressing room point of view, we're desperate to get into the Champions League as well."

Spurs welcome back a former player in Darren Bent, the Aston Villa striker, and Jordan said: "They have a lot of pace up front. The way they play they are very quick on the counter attack so we will be very conscious of that."

Meanwhile, Alex McLeish, the Aston Villa manager, has confirmed Barry Bannan will be in his squad to face Spurs despite the midfielder being charged last week with four motoring offences, including drink driving, following a car crash last month.

The Scotland international has not appeared for Villa or his country since the incident and McLeish believes the 21-year old's brush with the law has been a wake-up call

"You can't operate as a top-level player if that's your behaviour in this day and age," McLeish said.