Tottenham captain Michael Dawson insists the club are still hungry for a top four finish.
Spurs failed to secure a Champions League spot next season and after their maiden campaign in the competition, defeating Italian giants AC and Inter Milan on their way to quarter-finals, were comprehensively defeated by Real Madrid at the last eight stage.
Manager Harry Redknapp believes it will be difficult to compete with Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal after all five strengthened key areas this transfer window.
Dawson, however, is refusing to throw in the towel and give up on finishing in the top four next season.
“We’re aiming to be in the top four, we’ve been in it, and the lads are hungry to be in it again,” Dawson told The Independent.
“Of course you’re disappointed not to be in the Champions League. It’s where you want to be playing, and you speak to the fans – we travelled with thousands everywhere we went and they loved it as much as the players.
“You want to be playing against the best players but you’ve got to earn the right to be back there.”
The 27-year-old Spurs already have what it takes to mix it up with Europe’s elite, insisting they can hold their own against the Premier League’s best teams.
“We were 2-0 down to Arsenal (last season) and came back to win 3-2,” he said. “We had a little dip towards the end of the season, but we showed character by winning at Liverpool 2-0, where we haven’t won for a long time, and finishing fifth,” he added.
“We’re going to these places where maybe five or six years ago we weren’t getting wins, so we’re moving forward.
“We know it’s going to be tough, but we’ve got top players and we’ll be giving it our all this year.”