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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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Readers' Comments

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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