By support

13th Dec, 2016 | 11:33am

O'Neil: This is the big challenge for Tottenham going forward

By Harvey Byrne

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neil believes Tottenham are “in contention” for the Premier League title this season.

However, he believes the north London side face a big challenge in growing their stature, which will allow them to keep their star players away from the “super clubs.”

Spurs are currently positioned in fifth place in the league table with three points separating them from Manchester City in fourth.

They have lost just two of their 15 fixtures this season, but a big problem for the side has been killing off games with six draws to their name.

It has left them 10 points behind league leaders Chelsea, but O’Neil believes Spurs still have a chance of winning their first Premier League title.

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However, he also stated that clubs will be eyeing their star players, as they were Luka Modric and Gareth Bale in the past.

“I think they’re in contention. It’s hard to say at the moment with the gap and Chelsea’s momentum and how Chelsea are playing and how you can close that gap,” started O’Neil speaking on Sky Sports News’ Tuesday morning Premier League Daily show.

“I think Spurs have obviously drawn too many games this season and that’s been where they’ve dropped their points, but I agree with Ray (Parlour). They’ve got a nucleus of a really settled squad there, which you think is going to continually improve.

“Probably off the back of last season they will be slightly disappointed of where they are now, Champions League has obviously gone for them as well. But I think the big thing for them is maybe in the past they’ve had to sell Bale, they’ve had to sell Modric. Will they be able to hold on to the likes of Dele Alli going forward with obviously the investment and the new stadium now?

“Their next target should be to become a super club so to speak in terms of where they are in the Premier League and it will be a big challenge for them to do that. Those players they’ve got at the club at the minute are all at a good age that clubs are going to be keen to invest in them.”

Tottenham have looked to sign up a lot of their players to new long-term contracts in recent months with Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen all extending their current deals.

Meanwhile, last season’s PFA Young Player of the Year Dele Alli has also reaffirmed his position at the club after links to French giants Paris Saint-Germain.

In other Tottenham news, why this out-of-favour Spurs attacker should be handed a lifeline against Hull on Wednesday.