Lo Celso sends message to Spurs teammates over Champions League qualification

Giovani Lo Celso has told his Tottenham team-mates that Champions League qualification is now the be all and end all of their season.

Spurs suffered Wembley heartbreak when they passed up a golden opportunity to win their first piece of silverware since 2008 on April 25.

That Carabao Cup final defeat by Manchester City put the seal on a miserable eight days in which the club were caught up in the European Super League furore and manager Jose Mourinho was sacked.

It also left them with only a European finish to play for this season and Lo Celso knows there will be disappointment if they finish fifth or sixth to qualify for the Europa League or, worse still, in seventh, where they currently sit, and end up in the inaugural Europa Conference League.

The 25-year-old midfielder said: “We all know that we’re part of a very, very big club here at Tottenham Hotspur.

“So, as a result, we all have big expectation, everyone at the club has high expectations.

“Those expectations are that we get into the Champions League and, while we still have a chance of that, we’ll be fighting all the way through to the end of the season to try to achieve that aim.

“We realise it won’t be that easy as there are some other good teams fighting around us in the league.

“But, in between time, we’re doing all we can to achieve our objective, the objective of a big club, which is to get into the Champions League.

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“In terms of what we have to do now, we can almost treat these next five games like five finals, if you like, must-win games.

“It’s almost like an apprenticeship, it’s a process of getting through these five games between now and the end of the season — we learn from and it will stand us in good stead for the future.

“The objective is to win the five game and finish as high as we can in the league.

“What I can assure everyone is that we will fight until the end of the season.

“We know that other windows can open up for us in terms of European competition but obviously the main aim is to get into the Champions League.

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“At the end of the season, that is when we’ll be able to sit back and weigh up how we’ve performed, after these final five games.”

Lo Celso and his team-mates now have to put the disappointment of last Sunday behind them but that won’t be easy.

He added: “We were very, very down in the dressing-room afterwards, it was a feeling of great sadness at losing the game.

“We were disappointed that we couldn’t manage to bring a trophy home for the supporters.

“That’s what we wanted to do for the club and for the fans.

“That was our big desire, it was a pity.

“We played okay but these big games — and, in particular, finals — get decided on small details and it was a shame to have lost on a dead-ball situation, the goal came from a dead-ball situation.

“As a team and as a squad we felt very hurt by the loss.”

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