Antonio Conte says Tottenham finishing in the top four this season would be like winning the Premier League title.
Spurs bounced back from the disappointment of being knocked out of the Champions League to AC Milan earlier this week with a 3-1 win over Nottingham Forest.
A double from Harry Kane and a second-half strike from Heung-Min Son means Spurs now sit six points clear of Liverpool in fifth, who were beaten 1-0 by strugglers Bournemouth.
And Conte believes securing the fourth spot come the end of the season would represent a huge achievement for the club.
“Today it was really important, it was vital to get three points, especially because after the game against Milan,” Conte said.
“There are 11 games to go and we needed today to bounce back to show that we are strong mentally.
“The race for a place in Champions League will be really, really tough because you see the competitors.
“There are many, many teams involved and I think in this moment there is only one place available because Man City and Arsenal are fighting to win the Premier League and United, I think they are showing they have great continuity of good results.
“There is one place and there are many teams, many important teams that are in this race.
“We have to try to do our best and for sure, I repeat, for us to finish in the top four is like to win the Premier League.
“I continue to say maybe this season it will be much more difficult, much more difficult, because Liverpool is a competitor in this race. Newcastle is a competitor, but Newcastle is different Newcastle to the past.”