Tim Sherwood believes his team's overturning of a two-goal deficit against Southampton can lead to an even more amazing comeback and help Tottenham Hotspur overhaul Arsenal and qualify for the Champions League.
Spurs were 2-0 down to Southampton after 28 minutes at White Hart Lane but battled back and emerged as 3-2 winners thanks to a stoppage-time goal by Gylfi Sigurdsson. That result lifted them back to fifth place in the Premier League table, six points behind their north London rivals, who have played one match fewer, but Sherwood is not giving up hope of overtaking Arsène Wenger's team, who suffered a humiliating 6-0 defeat at Chelsea on Saturday. Such a denouement would represent a reversal of last season, when Tottenham were seven points clear of Arsenal after winning the north London derby in early March but were ultimately supplanted by Wenger's men in the Champions League qualification spots.
"We are going to try and accumulate as many points as we possibly can," said Sherwood. "I think we are a point behind where we were last year [at this stage] and we pushed Arsenal really close so who knows what could happen. It is squeaky bum time, time for the men to stand up and get as many points as we can."
Sherwood had fumed at the perceived lack of mental fortitude shown by his players in the 4-0 defeat at Chelsea this month but says he has been delighted by the response from his team. He said his side's character was central to their fightback against Southampton and singled out Kyle Naughton for particular praise. The full-back was at fault for both of the visitors' goals but recovered to tee up Christian Eriksen for Tottenham's opener and show renewed solidity for the rest of the game. "I want to give credit to Kyle Naughton," said Sherwood. "Anyone can make mistakes, and it was obvious he made two mistakes there, but what everyone can't do is stand tall and put themselves on offer in the second half.
"Too often, not only at Tottenham, but all around the country, players go hiding. They want to go off. He didn't want to come off, he wanted to go out and put that right. And he did that in the second half. I give him massive credit for that. He'll only grow for that. That's the character I'm looking for, that's what I want to see. I want people who want to roll their sleeves up and have a go. And he typified what I want from my players."
Sherwood's future at White Hart Lane remains uncertain, with reports continually linking other managers with a summer move to Tottenham. One such manager is Southampton's Mauricio Pochettino but Sherwood denied that this made this result even sweeter, saying he had no grievance towards the Argentinian, who has never publicly suggested that he is interested in moving to Tottenham or any other club. "I've nothing against Pochettino, he's a real professional and a good lad," said Sherwood.
"The satisfaction is that they're a good side and we've beat them twice this year. That is the real satisfaction, nothing against Mauricio or his staff, they're all good guys and real honourable fellas."
Pochettino, meanwhile, said he was broadly happy with the way his team performed but regretted the individual errors that let Spurs back into the game. "The result was heavy punishment, I thought we deserved more," he said.