Ange Postecoglou has insisted Tottenham are in the Premier League title race.
Spurs have endured a tricky winter period with a litany of injuries and suspensions, but they remain within touching distance of leaders Liverpool.
Tottenham are also only a point behind Arsenal and Manchester City ahead of Sunday’s clash at Manchester United.
“By definition, we are aren’t we? So, yes we are,” Postecoglou claimed.
“I’ve said all along that until the point where you’re not, why would you discount the possibility?
“We’ve gone through a really tough period and we’re hanging in there. We had four games when results went against us, but we’ve clawed our way back. We’re still in there.
“Our performances for the most part have been pretty consistent, but all that is meaningless if we don’t finish the season stronger than the first half of the season and that’s what we’ve got to do.”
A season of transition was expected for Spurs after they finished eighth last term and sold record scorer Harry Kane on the eve of the campaign.
Postecoglou enjoyed a flying start instead with Tottenham at the summit in November, but a costly 4-1 loss to Chelsea sparked a run of four defeats in five.
Spurs have regrouped admirably since and after securing the additions of Timo Werner and Radu Dragusin this week, the Aussie coach is not prepared to put a limit on his squad’s potential.
“No, I don’t think that would be right for the players and for the club,” Postecoglou added.
“We have scratched and clawed our way into a decent position in the league, we’re into the next round of the cup, those possibilities are always there.
“And we certainly want to tackle them as robustly as possible without any fear or fear of not achieving anything.
“We’ve done it from day one, we’ve had a vision of the sort of football we want to play and some parts are really, really good and have surprised me with the progress and other parts we’re still in the early stages of development.
“We’ve got a platform here to kick on and try on from here.
“It does excite me. Look, that has to be the objective and the aim and we’ve got to take every opportunity we have to get stronger.
“Part of that process is just a trust thing, they have obviously invested in me, you can only gain that trust over a period of time and after doing certain things.
“The club itself probably took a lot of comfort from our summer window knowing they got their business right there and going into this window, saying you want to work quickly, there’s a leap of faith there which the club has to have in me and what I’m doing.
“I think the first part of the season has helped that and hopefully that keeps accelerating because hopefully it can accelerate our work and where we want to get to.”
The prognosis for James Maddison is encouraging with the England international set to return to training next week with the intention of being fit to face Man City in the FA Cup on January 26.
Postecoglou said: “He’s getting closer. He hasn’t trained with the group yet. Obviously after Man United we’ve got two weeks.
“I’ll be hoping between the two Manchester game he’s back training with the first team as long as there’s no setbacks in that two-week window.
“I think we’ve got three games in that week after the Man City game so, him and Manor Solomon are the next two that should be fairly close after that provided there’s no setbacks.”