AVB: Big opportunity for Spurs

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas believes his team have a great opportunity to close in on the knockout stages of the Europa League with victory over Sheriff Tiraspol in Moldova.

Last Updated: 24/10/13 at 22:25 Post Comment

Andre Villas-Boas: Tottenham boss knows his side are close to qualification

Andre Villas-Boas: Tottenham boss knows his side are close to qualification

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

A win for the north London club on Thursday would make it three successes in as many games in Group K and open a clear lead at the top of the table.

And Spurs' progress to the next phase would be assured if Anzhi Makhachkala draw with Tromso in the night's other game.

The Tottenham manager told the club's website: "We have a big opportunity to get to nine points and maybe qualify at such an early stage.

"That motivation is key for us and is a big opportunity."

As for their opponents, Sheriff have secured the Moldovan title 11 times in 13 years and Villas-Boas added: "The conditions here are great.

"They are influenced by the Brazilians they have: Six Brazilians, very creative players and particularly in midfield.

"They are a counter attacking team which break quickly so we have to be aware.

"But we also must keep to our own principles and stay solid in defence."

Experience

Spurs midfielder Lewis Holtby is enjoying Spurs' Europa League trips - even if he thought tonight's opponents Sheriff Tiraspol were a club in Northern Ireland, not Eastern Europe.

The clash at the Moldovan champions is one of several tough away days faced by Villas-Boas' side in this year's competition, although one midfielder Holtby thought was a little closer to home.

"I had never heard of Sheriff before," the Germany international said. "I thought they were based in Northern Ireland.

"But coming to places like this is always an experience, especially for young players.

"You learn a lot coming to these types of countries and playing these types of teams.

"It is important to take these kind of atmospheres into your game. You learn a lot of things. So from that point of view it's nice to have a group like this."

Few can blame Holtby for not knowing much about Sheriff. Dominant in the Moldovan top flight, they hail from the capital of Transnistria - a self-announced breakaway state unrecognised by an sovereign nation.

"I only heard of it 20 minutes before we arrived," said Holtby, who admitted sleeping across the border.

"I got told it was a country within Moldova. That's a new one on me but a good experience to take with me and it has improved my geography.

"I am very pleased to be here. I can tell my grandchildren that I played in a part of Moldova that isn't Moldova."

The Stadionul Sheriff is sold out for Thursday evening's clash and more than 200 Tottenham fans are expected at the Group K clash.

"We have to be ready for them because it is going to be their cup final," Holtby added.

"Every opponent we face in the Europa League sees us as the bigger side.

"We are Tottenham Hotspur, we are a fantastic club, we have got quality players throughout the squad, so everybody is buzzing when they play against us.

"It makes us proud to be in that position. But we are only concerned with trying to get our win, continuing our 100 per cent points tally and qualifying from the group as quickly as possible."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

G

ood lord that's got me unnecessarily excited. Damn you Storey. Cut to Liverpool being crushed under the wheels of Sparky's Stoke Machine and Firmino brought off the bench to no effect. It's the hope that kills you.

suarez_blind
Roberto Firmino: Steel To Complement The Silk

N

o Schweini? Have to admit that I did a little sex wee when we signed him and I can't wait to see him in action!!!

spence
F365's Top Ten Players We Can't Wait To Watch

I

think he'll do quite well. My only reservation would be Kagawa, who had similar stats to Firmino in the bundesliga before he came, but time will tell.

GVMUFC
Roberto Firmino: Steel To Complement The Silk

Footer 365

Manchester City agree £14m fee with Roma for Edin Dzeko

Sky sources understand Manchester City have agreed a £14m fee with Roma for striker Edin Dzeko.

Liverpool's Jordon Ibe says he needs more end product

Liverpool winger Jordon Ibe says he must be looking contribute a goal or assist in every game he plays.

Liverpool have no interest in Barcelona's Adam Traore

Despite reports to the contrary, Liverpool are not interested in signing Barcelona winger Adama Traore.

Mail Box

Louis Van Gaal Only Wants Football Robots

Louis van Gaal only wants players who are human robots, apparently. It's a great Mailbox, with thoughts on Chelsea, Audi Cup, Fabregas, Lingard and Joe Gomez...

Is Jack Wilshere The New Diaby?

This was supposed to be his season but he is already injured. We have mails on Chelsea, TV football, why Raheem Sterling is worth more than ADM and more...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company