Tottenham Hotspur have more points than the champions, Manchester United, had at this stage last season but they know that although points in the bag are important the most crucial are the ones yet to come. United have a wealth of experience of racking up wins during the run-in, Spurs and Manchester City do not.

Sustaining a title challenge means coping with finishing-line fever and the approach of teams who set out to sicken in the way that Wolverhampton Wanderers did here. Tottenham failed to find the antidote to smothering tactics on this occasion but insist the two dropped points are far from terminal for their title chances.

"It's a compliment to us that the majority of teams that come here seem to be happy to go away with a point and we have to get used to that," said Scott Parker, who returned to the Spurs midfield after injury but, like his team-mates, found it difficult to operate in an area where Karl Henry and Emmanuel Frimpong proved dynamic destroyers for Wolves.

"We tried everything against Wolves but they were well organised and it just didn't happen for us but we can definitely still win the league."

Harry Redknapp expressed similar sentiments, arguing that a top side drawing at home to one teetering just above the relegation zone should not cause excessive surprise or damage. "It is only one game and we are not going to win every game, we are not Barcelona," he said, before adding "who, by the way, drew at Espanyol the other night".

"United had a tough home game against Blackburn, Liverpool have drawn six games at home this season because teams go there looking for a point and make it difficult. It happens."

Stopping it from happening too often is Tottenham's task now. Naturally there are reasons for them to be optimistic – the main one being that they have some splendid players – but there are also causes for concern. Against Wolves they looked tired, and were frequently outfought and outnumbered. The most obvious example came in the 21st minute when Roger Johnson jumped above Michael Dawson to head Matt Jarvis's corner towards goal and then, after Luka Modric and Brad Friedel combined to keep it out, Steven Fletcher reacted fastest to stab into the net.

Fletcher's performance highlighted a problem that must perturb Redknapp despite his insouciance – Emmanuel Adebayor seems to be going off the boil. The scorching form of the Togo striker in the first half of this season is one of the main reasons that Tottenham have 10 points more now than they did at this stage last term, as he converted the chances that were too often missed back then by Jermain Defoe, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Robbie Keane.

Gradually, however, Adebayor's form has dipped – he has scored once in the past seven league matches – and even though he found the net against Wolves only to have the goal disallowed for a debatable offside, this was perhaps his most ineffective game of the season as he continually found himself in the wrong place and the wrong time. It may not be a bad thing that his loan deal means he cannot play against his parent club next week.

Defoe looked dangerous against Wolves after entering the fray in the 73rd minute, forcing an improvised save from Wayne Hennessey with one notable snap-shot. Defoe, who has asked to leave Spurs so that he can start regularly for a club and secure a place in England's Euro 2012 squad, is likely to be given a chance against City to show why Redknapp has blocked any transfer.

"I'll have a think during the week but I've played Defoe and [Rafael van der Vaart] together before and it's worked well, we won at Villa with those two," said Redknapp, sounding like a man who is not convinced that those players are compatible. It is not for nothing that he is interested in the Marseille striker Loïc Rémy, who plays like a young Adebayor.

Wolves have different concerns. Although Modric's second-half equaliser meant they have gone seven league games without a win, this was an encouraging performance and should give them hope of avoiding relegation. Mick McCarthy is confident that he will be presiding over their run-in, scoffing at reports that he is in danger of the sack.

"The tide was stemmed at Sunderland with a new manager and the tide was stemmed at QPR with a new manager, so suddenly the water was starting to flow up the M6 and M40 to Wolves," he said. "It's bollocks."