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The FA Cup Fourth Round

AVB aware of derby pressure

Tottenham Hotspur boss Andre Villas-Boas admits he has been made aware of the importance placed on derby duels with Arsenal.

Last Updated: 17/11/12 at 12:26 Post Comment

Andre Villas-Boas: Will take in his first north London derby on Saturday

Andre Villas-Boas: Will take in his first north London derby on Saturday

Spurs make the short trip to Emirates Stadium on Saturday looking to secure three Premier League points and, perhaps more importantly to their supporters, local bragging rights.

The game will provide Villas-Boas with a first taste of the rivalry which exists between two capital heavyweights, and the Portuguese coach has been left in no doubt as to how important it is to perform on such a stage.

"People have been speaking about it quite often, between the staff and the chairman," he told Sky Sports.

"You understand the importance of it. This is a game where passion is extremely high. It is a game which represents three points, but in the league it represents more than that in the history of north London derbies."

Asked for his thoughts on recent comments made by Steffen Freund, a member of the White Hart Lane coaching team, in which he suggested Spurs have closed the gap on their local rivals, Villas Boas added: "Arsenal have accumulated recently an amount of trophies, which is important - including being Premiership champions. This is a step up to where we want to be in the future.

"I think recently they have also obtained more Champions League qualifications.

"We have been within their reach for the last couple of years, so we are certainly getting nearer in terms of what we are doing as a club."

Rest

Meanwhile, Steven Caulker does not believe that midweek international exertions will have an adverse effect on the Tottenham squad, with top players having grown accustomed to a hectic schedule.

The England centre-half, who made his senior bow against Sweden on Wednesday, said: "I have been used to that this year, playing in Europe a lot away and travelling back, so I'm used to it and will get my rest in and look forward to the game.

"It's a massive game on Saturday, so I'll go home and get my rest and look forward to the game."

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