AVB: I'm not the gloating type

Andre Villas-Boas insists there will be no gloating on his part if he proves his doubters wrong by delivering Tottenham a top-four finish.

Last Updated: 10/03/13 at 09:06

Andre Villas-Boas: Prepares for Liverpool clash

Andre Villas-Boas: Prepares for Liverpool clash

Villas-Boas arrived at Chelsea last season with a reputation as the brightest young manager on the continent, but his reign at Stamford Bridge ended after just 256 days following rumours of in-fighting off the pitch and poor performances on it.

The Portuguese was critical of Roman Abramovich during his first Tottenham press conference, accusing the Chelsea owner of "quitting" on him and breaking promises after cutting short his three-year "project" in West London.

Villas-Boas is looking to end the season above his former employers, who are two points behind Tottenham having gone through a difficult year characterised by supporter revolt and yet another managerial sacking.

But should Spurs, who Villas-Boas has led on a three-month unbeaten run, finish above the Blues in the table, the 35-year-old will resist any temptation to rub Abramovich's nose in it.

The Tottenham manager said: "At the end of the season I won't be so egocentric to consider it a personal success.

"That is not my type, but hopefully at the end of the season we are able to achieve what the club expects from the team."

Tottenham's impressive form continued on Thursday night when they swatted aside Inter Milan 3-0 in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie at White Hart Lane.

Villas-Boas' rampant team have another chance to deliver a big blow to one of Europe's most prestigious clubs tomorrow afternoon when they travel to Liverpool, who are 10 points below the top four.

"I think it will probably end their hopes (of Champions League qualification) if we win, but you never know," Villas-Boas said.

Spurs have fallen away in the last third in the previous two campaigns to miss out on the Champions League, but Villas-Boas insists his squad is made of stronger stuff this time around.

"The (unbeaten) run is still there and hopefully we can sustain it," Villas-Boas said.

"It was probably at this time last year that things shifted, but I think with this team's willingness, we are able to bounce back because the players are really up for it because of what they suffered last season and they really want to be in the Champions League."

The match pits two of the leading contenders for player of the year against each other in Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale.

Villas-Boas said following Thursday's win that 28-goal Suarez had carried "Liverpool almost on his shoulders" this season, but he knows concentrating all his efforts on the controversial Uruguayan is risky due to the presence of January signings Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho.

"What Liverpool did in the January window was buy very well and widely," the Spurs manager said.

"Coutinho's explosion came at the expense of Raheem Sterling but he is a great player and they have Sturridge doing ever so well for them too.

"That has given them more confidence. They are playing good football and are hoping to get on a good run of results that they haven't found yet."

Bale's superb form this season has led to claims that Tottenham are over reliant on the Welsh forward, who will become the first Spurs player to score in six consecutive Premier League matches if he finds the net on Sunday.

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I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

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n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

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