After Sunday's exhilarating North London derby, Spurs ace Rafael Van der Vaart has admitted the club's title hopes have slipped through their fingers.

The 5-2 scoreline at the Emirates Stadium has dented Tottenham’s fine run of form in the Premier League, and left Harry Redknapp's men ten points behind leaders Manchester City. However, sitting in third position is something the club can look to build on, according to 'VDV'.

The Dutchman said: ”The title? Of course you always hope but Manchester City are winning their games so easily, especially now we have lost, so maybe the title is over.

"Third is our main goal now and I'm really confident we can finish there.

Van Der Vaart also ruled out any fear of a drop in confidence after the derby day defeat, stating it was just a ‘bad day at the office’. He hopes the side can continue their season in confident fashion despite the defeat.

Spurs boss Redknapp, who is favorite to take the vacant England manager's job, has also come out suggesting the team from White Hart Lane must maintain their current league position.

He said: “It is not going to be easy. Arsenal and Chelsea are strong teams and we haven't finished above them for a long time, but this is our best chance, so we have to make sure we pick ourselves up and be ready for the next game.”

The team from N17 face a difficult run-in over the next few weeks - with Sir Alex Ferguson’s high-flying Manchester United the next side to visit North London, after they snatched a late winner against Norwich to keep their title ambitions alive.

The clash is followed by away trips to Everton and fierce London rivals Chelsea, and Redknapp hopes the side can come through the period unharmed.

“We've a tough run, United, Everton away, Chelsea away so we have to make sure we're ready. It will be a big game at home to United," said Redknapp.

“We are still seven points clear and if we can make that third place it will be a great season for us”

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