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Hero Huddlestone confident Spurs can repeat top-four finish

By their own admission, Spurs lack consistency and, to a degree, a belief in their own capabilities. Yet they sit on the shoulders of the leaders in these early stages of the Premier League and, for those who felt last season's fourth-place was a one-off, there is a point to prove.

And for one of their more solid performers this season, the chance to take Tottenham to a new level is there. Tom Huddlestone, whose controversial winner earned Spurs a win they, perhaps, did not deserve, is beginning to believe anything is possible.

Spurs are just five points off the lead, despite defeats by lowly Wigan and West Ham. That they face a trip to European title holders Inter Milan this week does not appear to be daunting Harry Redknapp's charges.

If Huddlestone is to be believed, qualification for next season's Champions League is possible, and there are moments when Spurs dare to dream of greater targets.

"Everyone is dropping points," said the England midfielder, "and if we can be a bit more consistent -- because we have dropped a few sloppy points -- then why can't we finish in the top four?"

Huddlestone increased Spurs' chances of being up there contend-ing for the title come May with a second-half shot that, at first, was denied. Then referee Mike Dean consulted assistant Martin Yerby, whose flag had indicated offside, before deciding that, though William Gallas was in an offside position, the goal should stand.

The officials got it right, but Fifa's hackneyed interpretation of the law makes it open to confusion.

Two goals in a late first-half minute, initially from the returning Diomansy Kamara then a tap-in by Spurs' Roman Pavlyuchenko, had this game heading for a draw.

Mark Hughes, who lost for the first time as Fulham manager, was predictably frustrated at the final whistle, but is hopeful referee Dean will not punish him for his body language, when he prodded more than one accusing finger, albeit from distance, at the official.

"I can't remember what I said," said Hughes. "I just pointed and made a noise. I didn't go in an aggressive manner. I just gave my view and very quickly he said 'come and see me,' so I just walked away. There is no point in getting yourself in any trouble when whatever I say won't make any difference." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent