- Europa League
Parker: Europa League over top-four finish
Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker admits he would take more personal satisfaction from winning the Europa League than finishing in the top-four of the Premier League this season.
Ahead of Thursday night's Europa League quarter-final against FC Basel at White Hart Lane, Parker concedes the desire to crown his career with a major trophy usurps the club's eagerness to qualify for next season's Champions League.
After manager Andre Villas-Boas insisted both targets are attainable in the final few weeks of the campaign, Parker claimed he would glean more satisfaction from winning a European trophy in the Amsterdam final next month.
"As a player, there is nothing more rewarding than going to a final and lifting a trophy," he stated. "From the outset our target has been the top-four this season, but for me, personally, a European trophy would be something to look back on more.
"I can't remember the last time Spurs won a trophy, so for fans it will be very special. It would show that the club are moving in the right direction. We have a manager who has won this competition before, who knows what is needed, so that has to help as well. Every one of us in our changing room wants to go on and try to win something. The Europa League is a big competition, with big teams in it, and if you win it, you've done well."
Villas-Boas has been criticised for playing full strength Tottenham side's in the Europa League this season, with the perception that his commitment to the competition could affect the club's desire to return to the Champions League next season often aired.
However, Parker suggested a cup victory would be good for the mentality of the club, as they look to establish themselves as one of the rising giants of the English game.
"Winning is a habit and losing can become a habit as well," he said. "You look at the top teams and when they play sides at the bottom of the league, you take it for granted that they are going to win those games. We need to get to that stage and we are getting there.
"It is all about grinding out results. Sometimes you don't play well and don't deserve to win, but if you come off with the three points, that is all people care about. It is all about results at this stage of the season and we have to grind them out. I am confident we can keep going to the end of the season. Don't forget we finished fourth last year and only missed out on the Champions League because Chelsea won it. I am confident we can grind out results and stay where we are in the league."
Parker has picked up some silverware before in his lengthy career, yet he was very much a bit part player in Chelsea's Premier League and Carling Cup triumphs back in 2005, and conceded the medals he has have long since been misplaced.
"I was at Chelsea when we won the Premier League and Carling Cup, so I saw what those days do for the fans and for your family," he added. "I was injured for the final but I went along so I have some sort of understanding of how good those days are.
"It's fair to say I didn't really feel part of Chelsea's successes. The Carling Cup was a bit different as I played in a few games so I thought I contributed, but I still didn't feel it at the bottom of my heart and it was the same with the league title. I didn't feel I had any sort of contribution towards it.
"I got a Premier League medal as there were four of us that didn't play enough games, but I think the club got a replica medal. I seriously wouldn't have a clue where it is. That says a lot about what it means to me."