Former Tottenham striker Les Ferdinand believes his old club have the hunger needed to challenge for Premier League and FA Cup glory this season.
Spurs host Sky Bet League Two side Wycombe in Saturday’s fourth-round cup tie, with Mauricio Pochettino’s men currently third in the league table – a point behind north London rivals Arsenal and nine off leaders Chelsea.
With no European football this term, Antonio Conte has been able to channel his squad’s focus fully on domestic action.
Chelsea’s 13-match winning streak in the league was eventually halted by Tottenham’s 2-0 win at White Hart Lane on January 4.
Should Spurs go on to make the latter stages of the FA Cup and advance in the Europa League, which resumes next month, then Pochettino and his players will have lots of balls to juggle.
But Ferdinand – who made more than 100 appearances for Spurs after moving from Newcastle in 1997 and won the 1999 League Cup at Wembley before later joining the coaching staff – believes the current group have the desire needed to last the distance on all fronts.
“I looked at them last season, what happened towards the end, drawing against Chelsea and disrupting their flow, then people were saying, ‘Oh yeah, typical Spurs’, so I was wondering what they would be like this season, just how much that would have affected them,” Ferdinand told Press Association Sport.
“But the young band of players they have got and the hunger they seem to have in the side, I have been mightily impressed by what they have produced this season and I just see them going from strength to strength.”
Ferdinand added: “With the way Tottenham are playing at the moment, they will certainly believe they are one of the stronger teams left in the (FA Cup) competition.
“Taking on Wycombe, you would expect, whatever side Tottenham put out, they can win that game.”
A formidable run
Spurs won seven straight fixtures before battling back to draw 2-2 at Manchester City, and have this week been on a short mid-season training camp in Barcelona.
Former England striker Ferdinand, who is taking part in Prostate Cancer UK’s Football to Amsterdam bike ride in June, feels such momentum can carry the players through a testing fixture schedule ahead.
“When you are on a winning run, you just want the games to keep coming thick and fast, to keep yourself fit, keep you motivated,” said Ferdinand, who is now director of football at QPR, another of his former clubs.
“Chelsea went on that 13-match run, and that is what they will be looking to do again – it didn’t matter what competition it was or who they were playing against, they just wanted to go out there and win.
“So once you get on the match-treadmill, it keeps the momentum going.
“I don’t think Tottenham will be thinking, ‘Well, if we go out of this competition, then we have a chance of winning the Premier League’ – I think they just want to go out and win every game which goes their way.”
Ferdinand, 50, lost his grandfather to prostate cancer and has also seen other family members affected by the disease from which more than 11,000 men die each year.
“There is a bit of a taboo around with us guys not wanting to talk about it, but instead of people not going, it is important for them to go and get checked, because it affects one in eight men and also one in four Afro-Caribbean men,” Ferdinand said.
“My dad was cured of it, so was my uncle, because they caught it early enough and the doctors were able to do something about it.”