Tim Sherwood believes his team “owe it to the fans” to put on a good performance and get three points against Aston Villa in their final game of the season next weekend after a disappointing loss to West Ham United.
Spurs succumbed to a 2-0 defeat – their third against the Hammers this season – after Younes Kaboul was sent off mid-way through the first half.
The visitors went behind to a Harry Kane own goal moments later and Stewart Downing’s free-kick split a timid Tottenham wall to give the home side an unassailable 2-0 lead before half time.
And although he had no complaints with referee Phil Dowd’s decision, Sherwood believed the game hinged on the sending off.
He said: “The game changed on the red card. I thought before that we were comfortable – we created the best chance of the game when Ade had a chance.
“It was always going to be a tough place to come and when you go down to ten men and they score a minute after it’s always going to be a difficult afternoon.
“The free-kick then goes straight through the middle of our wall, which isn’t ideal, and then we have a mountain to climb.
“I think it was the right decision, I’ve no complaints about the red card, but when you go down to ten men it’s very difficult.
“Credit to the boys, I thought we took the game to West Ham in the second half with ten men and created a few half chances. If we’d taken one it might have been an edgy afternoon but I’m not too displeased with the performance.
Paulinho and Adebayor were guilty of stepping out of the way of Downing’s free-kick for West Ham’s killer second goal, and the Spurs head coach admitted he has since had a word with the two players.
He said: “It wasn’t great and I have pointed that out to them but they don’t need me to really – they know it’s an error. It obviously hurts a lot more seeing it’s 2-0 than getting it in the stomach and it hurting for 30 seconds. That can happen, they cost you dearly and today it did.”
Tottenham were kept in the game in the second half thanks to a string of superb saves from in-form goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
Sherwood said: “Lloris was top drawer. The guy’s a consistent performer, he’s performed like that every week and if he makes a mistake, it’s an honest mistake, but he doesn’t make many.”
Sherwood insists his side need to bounce back next weekend and secure a place in next season’s Europa League for the sake of the White Hart Lane faithful.
He said: “The players owe it to the fans to send them away over the summer with a bit of optimism for next year. To get three points at home to Aston Villa, our aim is to entertain and win the game.”