Kyle Naughton does not think Tottenham can use their gruelling Europa League campaign as an excuse for falling off the pace in the Barclays Premier League.
Spurs have failed to win six of their nine matches following a European outing this season, a statistic which has undermined their bid for a top-four finish.
Sunday’s defeat at Norwich, which left them trailing fourth-placed Liverpool by six points., came on the back of a 1-0 loss against Dnipro in Ukraine.
Spurs will attempt to overturn that deficit in Thursday night’s second leg at White Hart Lane with Naughton insisting they have the squad to cope with both competitions.
“We can’t make excuses about playing in the Europa League. That’s what we are in, we should have a big enough squad to deal with that and the Premier League,” said the defender.
“The stats don’t lie, it does seem that way, it’s something that is happening and we’re not sure why.
“The games are running out but we have got to keep fighting, we can’t let that go. We have to aim for the top four.
“It’s difficult at the minute, everyone is doing quite well above us. But we are looking above us rather than behind us. We are not looking to catch an individual team but to just get as many points as we can.”
White Hart Lane will bid farewell to Jermain Defoe on Thursday with the striker, currently injured, about to complete his move to Toronto following 143 goals in two spells with Spurs.
Naughton added: “Defoe has been great for us while I have been here.
“He’s been great to play with, just to give him the ball and let him do the business. He’s been a great finisher, he still is, and a fans’ favourite. He will be missed.”