Tim Sherwood conceded his team are probably now out of the top-four chase after losing to north London rivals Arsenal – but he said he was pleased with the team’s performance in a game he believes they deserved to win.

Tomas Rosicky gave the visitors the lead in the second minute with a thunderous drive, and the goal proved the difference despite a second half onslaught from Spurs on the Arsenal goal.

The result lifts the Gunners nine points above Tottenham, who sit seven points adrift of fourth placed Manchester City who have three games in hand.

Asked if he felt his side was now out of the top-four race, Sherwood said: “I think it was always difficult – we’re just going to try and accumulate as many points as we can. We’ll win more than we lose until the end of the season - there’s no crisis here.”

Rosicky’s early opener stunned the White Hart Lane crowd but Sherwood, who has been publically critical of his side’s attitude, said he was pleased with their performance after the second-minute set back.

He said: “After going behind so early in the game you fear the worst. But they did me proud today – they stuck together. We took the game to Arsenal and we didn’t deserve to lose.

“I’m a winner and I want to win. I’d rather play bad and win the game but anyone who saw that today knows we didn’t deserve to lose. They had one shot in the second half. The boys stuck to their guns and showed some quality and we should have scored. If we score we go on and win the game because the momentum would have taken us there.

“The crowd were fantastic – they stuck with us all the way and you expect that when the boys are giving that sort of effort.”

Sherwood’s future as head coach remains uncertain, with rumours that Spurs are lining up a summer replacement for the 45-year-old.

But he insists he is working to instil his own playing style on the team and revealed he has already been making plans for the squad for next season.

He said: “I have the utmost respect for people that have been in this game for a long time. It’s tough but I’m really up for the challenge. I knew we had to lose at some stage but I think I’ve got the character for it and I want people to come with me with the same belief and character.

“I think the building process has to start pre-season and getting your own players in, and looking at the ones you need to keep and a few you want to move on. I knew it was going to be difficult and it’s proved to be that but I’ve been dealt a hand and I’m playing the players accordingly. I’m working game to game to try and win as many points as we can.”