Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp believes his side have closed the gap on Arsenal, regardless of what happens in Wednesday's crunch north London derby.
Spurs' chances of finishing fourth and qualifying for next season's Champions League could hinge on the result of the White Hart Lane showdown. A win would narrow the deficit to Manchester City, who currently occupy fourth spot, to one point, but a defeat would leave Tottenham with a mountain to climb, especially with their next two games coming against Chelsea and Manchester United.
"When everyone is fit we have a squad that can match Arsenal," said Redknapp, who has a lengthy injury list to contend with.
"At the start of the year, who would have seen us fourth, compared to the likes of Liverpool and Man City with their resources? It shows the massive strides we've made.
"It's been massive progress this year. We're much closer to Arsenal now and we'll be even closer next year. We've got players who are improving and can only get better."
Redknapp will also have to lift his squad after the surprise 2-0 defeat to Pompey at Wembley, which left Spurs without a chance of claiming any silverware this season.
But he does not see confidence or fatigue - the semi-final having gone to extra time - being major problems.
"It's a London derby, we'll find the energy," Redknapp said. "We'll be okay, no excuses. We are in great form with one league defeat in 10. People always pick up on the negatives, we had a bad game on Sunday and it didn't go our way, but it was just one of those days.
"There's nothing we can do about it now. You put that behind you, pick yourself up, brush yourself down and start all over again.
"You can't keep looking back at what happened. This is another game and the adrenalin of a London derby will carry the players through whether they are tired or not."
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