Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino admits the club's aim to compete for a top four finish next season rests on them firmly addressing their defensive woes.
A run of form where the club have won just two of their last eight games has put an end to Tottenham's faint hopes of clinching qualification for next season's Champions League, with their qualification for the Europa League also now in doubt.
In that run of form, dating back to the 3-0 defeat to Manchester United on 15 March, the club have scored nine goals but conceded 14, leaving them with the worst goal difference in the top seven by some margin.
And Pochettino believes addressing the imbalance in his squad that has caused such frailties at the back must become a priority ahead of the 2015-16 season.
"We need to be more consistent next season, we haven't kept our level of performance and for that we have not achieved the top four," Pochettino told a press conference on 14 May.
"We are sixth because we score a lot of goals but we are there because we concede a lot of goals – we need to find the right balance. We need to improve a lot our defensive situation."
Tottenham host Hull City on 16 May where they will attempt to register their first win since the 3-1 victory over Newcastle United on 19 April.
But the Tigers will be fighting for their Premier League survival, with a loss leaving them on the brink of relegation on the final day of the season. With just two points separating Tottenham, Southampton and Swansea City in the race for the final Europa League squad, Pochettino believes his side must find the same motivation Hull are likely to play with.
He said: "It is always difficult to play against a team that plays to survive in the Premier League, but for us we need to feel it's important like them, we're playing for fifth or sixth.
"You play for survival, you play for a place in the Europa League, you need to be motivated in the same way."