Tottenham head coach Juande Ramos insists it is too early to write off hopes of a top-four finish despite the defeat by Aston Villa bringing about the club's worst start to a Premier League season.
Spurs are bottom of the table with a point from four games and with Robbie Keane and Dimitar Berbatov no longer at White Hart Lane, Ramos pointed to a lack of time to prepare with his new recruits as Villa grabbed a 2-1 win.
"We've only played four games, it's only just begun," said the Spaniard. "There is still room for us there. We had very little time to prepare - (Vedran) Corluka, (Roman) Pavlyuchenko and (Fraizer) Campbell are new to the club and haven't really had time."
He added: "We are behind in our preparations. We need to keep the spirit going and climb as high up the table as possible.
"We've made an irregular start to the season having lost three games which makes it an uphill struggle for us."
Goals from Nigel Reo-Coker and Ashley Young put Villa in command at White Hart Lane and despite Darren Bent's fortunate late strike, Martin O'Neill's side held on for three deserved points.
"If we can't get confidence from that performance then we never will." said O'Neill.
"We're capable of doing that - brilliant moves and fantastic performances - but you can't make assessments.
"We've got loads of things to do to make us a proper side, a big side."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.