Villa boss O'Neill defends Jol

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has leapt to the defence of Martin Jol and believes Tottenham are capable of breaking into the top four and achieving Champions League football.

O'Neill acknowledges Jol is under pressure after Spurs' indifferent start to the campaign which has left them in the Barclays Premier League relegation zone.

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O'Neill said ahead of Monday's clash between the teams at White Hart Lane: "Spurs will be a very difficult team to beat.

"It will be a hard game for us. They are capable of winning games as they have proved. They have good variety.

"When they have everyone back fit, they are capable of being a very good side.

"For the past two years they have just been outside the top four and obviously their ambition is to try and break into it. Martin Jol is under pressure but isn't everyone?

"People who knock Martin Jol should look at what he has achieved over the last three years. Tottenham are a very sound side and he has spent some money this season on players and that shows their intent.

"They have finished fifth for the last two seasons and the previous year they went into the last game with the possibility of getting into the top four.

"They are capable of breaking into top four. They got off to a poor start last year but look where they ended up and they are capable of doing that again, picking themselves up and getting on with it.

"We shouldn't read too much into early season performances."

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