• Premier League

Dembele calls for Spurs improvement

ESPN staff
May 22, 2013

Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele has cited his side's poor record against the Premier League's smaller teams as the reason they missed out on Champions League football.

Despite finishing the season with 72 points - their highest points total in the Premier League - Spurs were pipped to fourth place by local rivals Arsenal on the final day of the campaign, consigning them to another season of Europa League football.

Tottenham picked up 11 points from their fixtures against the sides that finished in the top four this term, including a first league win at Old Trafford since 1989. However, defeats in matches they would normally be expected to win, such as 1-0 home losses against Wigan and Fulham, saw Andre Villas-Boas's side ultimately fall short.

"Against the top teams we are good," Dembele said. "But against the small teams it's like, 'OK, the top teams would have finished these off by now'.

"We've dropped a lot of points against the bottom teams. We have to be aware next year. We haven't had a bad season. We have the points record, that's something positive. But at the end we are still a bit disappointed."

The Belgium international had his injury problems towards the end of his first season at White Hart Lane, but he believes he will not need surgery this summer on either his hamstring or his neck.

"I need to do things in the summer and then I will be fitter for the start of next season," Dembele said. "I hope next year, without injuries, I will have a much better season."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.