Sissoko calls on Spurs to bounce back against Ajax after nightmare seven days

Losses against West Ham, Bournemouth and the Dutchmen have cast a shadow over north London, although they remain favourites to finish in the top four

Tottenham’s Moussa Sissoko is confident that his team can put a torrid week behind them and prevail in their Champions League semi-final against Ajax.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men tasted defeat three times in the space of the past seven days in a disastrous run of form.

Back-to-back 1-0 reverses against West Ham and Bournemouth in the Premier League were accompanied by the same result in the first leg against the Dutch side, with Donny van de Beek netting the visitors’ goal last Tuesday. 

Only a win at the Johan Cruyff Arena will be sufficient to turn the tide and take Spurs to their first-ever Champions League final against either Barcelona or Liverpool. 

But speaking ahead of Wednesday’s showdown, Sissoko believes their recent misfortunes will not weigh on the team as they look to make club history.

“We don’t have to think too much [about the Bournemouth defeat] because another game is coming on Wednesday and we have to make sure we are ready for that game.” the Frenchman told reporters.

“It is not every week we can play in this type of match. Even away we still have a chance to win and we have to believe in ourselves. That is what we will try to do.

“I think this week will be the biggest of the season for us. We have to be positive in our mind and not think too much. We know we have quality, we know we can beat these two teams but we to show it on the pitch. I’m sure we will do it.

“If you are in the semi-finals of the Champions League and the next season you are not in the competition, it will be a bit painful, but I don’t think about that. I’m sure in my head, like everyone, that we will be in the Champions League next season and for that we have to play a massive game on Wednesday to try to go to the final and beat Everton.

“I think the good thing is Ajax is a team that likes to play. I don’t think they will stick together at the back, sit at the back and only try to defend. I think they will try to play, try to score and, for us, we know we have to score as early as possible.”

Despite those defeats, Tottenham remain in the driving seat to ensure they will return to the Champions League next season. 

Arsenal and Manchester United’s failure to pick up three points against Brighton and Huddersfield on Sunday means that Spurs are virtually guaranteed to seal a top-four finish against Everton next Sunday, sitting three points clear of their fifth-placed north London rivals while enjoying a vastly superior goal difference. 

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