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AVB rubbishes sack reports

Andre Villas-Boas insists that he retains the full backing of the Tottenham board and players despite the club's recent dip in form.

Last Updated: 28/11/13 at 06:02 Post Comment

Newspaper reports claimed Villas-Boas was on the brink of being sacked following Sunday's 6-0 thrashing at Manchester City.

After a flurry of bets, one bookmaker made Villas-Boas odds-on favourite to become the next top-flight manager to lose his job, but the Portuguese is adamant his position is secure.

The former Chelsea manager, who spent almost £110m in the summer, admits the Spurs board aired their misgivings about the defeat at the Etihad Stadium to him in a meeting after the game.

However, Villas-Boas bristled at suggestions he was on the verge of the sack at a tense press conference ahead of Thursday's Europa clash with Tromso, 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle.

"I have the confidence of the board. I have the confidence of my players and I have to move on to do a proper job," he said.

"The only conversation (the board and I) had recently was two or three days ago.

"The board is of the same opinion that everything went wrong and we hope to get some response in the future.

"It was an ordinary meeting. We only spoke very briefly about the game."

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has not come out to publicly back Villas-Boas, and the Portuguese coach does not want him to either.

"No. No. That's not his style, and neither do I ask for things like that," said Villas-Boas, who says he has become used to rumours and gossip since moving to England for his ill-fated spell with Chelsea.

"I am immune (to criticism) right now," he added. "I used to read a lot into situations like this, into pressure points when I was at Chelsea, but not anymore. I am very indifferent.

"There is only one (area) that I come under pressure from, which is the press."

When queried about alleged problems with his players, the Spurs boss said: "That can only come from creative minds."

Tottenham are three points better off than they were at this stage last season but Villas-Boas admits he is concerned by their form in front of goal.

The north Londoners have had 168 attempts at goal this season, more than any other side in the top flight, but they also have the worst conversion rate - 5.4 per cent.

"The only thing that we can hold on at the moment is the reality that we don't score enough and we are worried about it," said Villas-Boas.

"We have to promote situations where we can do better with our chances. Obviously this is something we are working on and going to continue working on in the future.

"It doesn't mean that problems like this can be solved because sometimes you go through periods, although you try and you create so many chances, you don't actually score.

"We have great scoring ability in our team; we are the team that creates the most chances in the Premier League, so the chances are there but we are not finishing them off.

"We don't put into doubt the quality of our strikers but we haven't found the finishing touch yet. The only thing that we can do is continue to work."

Villas Boas does not expect to sign a striker in January and has no intention of letting Jermain Defoe leave.

"(Roberto) Soldado, Jermain Defoe and (Emmanuel) Adebayor are all proven goalscorers, so we can't really get much better than these three.

"The only thing that we have to do, if we are not scoring from the opportunities we are creating, is making sure that we double the amount of opportunities we create to make sure a couple of them finish in the back of the net."

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