The Hawthorns

Next Game

W Brom v Tottenham

Saturday, 31 January 2015, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Bramall Lane

Last Game

Sheff Utd 2 - 2 Tottenham

Wednesday, 28 January 2015, 19:45

Capital One Cup Semi-Final

AVB orders Spurs to re-find form

Andre Villas-Boas has told Spurs they must "get their act together" if they are to qualify for the Champions League.

Last Updated: 28/03/13 at 18:16 Post Comment

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has told his players they must "get their act together" if they are to qualify for the Champions League.

Defeats against Liverpool and Fulham mean the seven-point lead Tottenham once held over Arsenal has started to evaporate.

A Tottenham defeat at Swansea, and an Arsenal victory against Reading this weekend will see Arsene Wenger's men cut the gap to one point having played one match less.

Tottenham fans who spent much of the drab 1-0 home defeat to Fulham biting their nails are aware, of course, that their team has been in this position before.

Last year they threw away a 10-point lead over their bitter north London rivals and, although Villas-Boas is convinced his team are made from stronger stuff this year, he knows they must start winning soon.

"We have to get our act together for the rest of the fixtures to achieve our objective," said the Spurs boss, who saw his team battered 4-1 by Inter Milan in between their two domestic defeats.

"We have done excellent enough to bridge the gap before, but now with two league defeats our opponents are closer to us and we have to recognise this change."

Villas-Boas admitted he has his work cut out if he is to achieve the target of Champions League qualification handed to him by Daniel Levy when he replaced Harry Redknapp last summer.

The Portuguese estimates his team will require 70-72 points to finish inside the top four, meaning Spurs will only be able to afford to lose two matches in a tough run-in which includes fixtures against Manchester City, Chelsea, Everton and Swansea.

Only three times in the history of the Premier League have teams who have made it in to the top four finished with 72 points or more.

Yet, despite losing stars like Rafael van der Vaart, Ledley King and Luka Modric last summer, there is no doubt in Villas-Boas' mind about his team's chances of holding on to that fourth spot.

"No. Not at all," came the blunt response when Villas-Boas was asked whether his team's belief had taken a knock in the last month.

He fired a similar rebuttal when he was challenged about the confidence of his squad given their collapse last season.

"It has happened before but it doesn't mean it will happen again," the 35-year-old said.

"The circumstances, the players, the leader, training...they are all different so at this moment it has nothing to do with past experiences.

"We have eight games. The situation shifts for any team in the Premier League who does not get results.

"My message to the fans is that we are in our objectives. The lead (over Arsenal) is less than before but we have that margin because we were excellent doing our job so that doesn't mean we can't be excellent again. That is why we believe in the players and the job that they are doing.

"We are also in the Europa League quarter-finals so these are all positive aspects for us."

Villas-Boas has been boosted by the news that 21-goal forward Gareth Bale has been passed fit for Saturday's trip to Swansea, despite suffering with illness while on international duty.

Michael Dawson and Aaron Lennon, who had to pull out of England's double-header against San Marino and Montenegro, are also fit.

"Bale is fine," Villas-Boas said.

"I think for us club coaches we are happier when the players return with no injuries. We have been lucky because of the changes in habits and training, and the travelling."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

he uber commercialisation of the 90s has led to the point where this overly familar, try hard, jolly hockey sticks type fronts up a major football match on a weekly basis. Unlike the great presenters of yesteryear, I doubt he would even recognise the scent of Brut.

mufc phil
Football On TV: Jake Humphrey

H

opefully Jose turns up to the game wearing a T-Shirt with Costa's face on, that's the classy thing to do in these situations right?

Petulant_Radish
Costa loses appeal against ban

C

onfirmed. Nick Miller is a douche bag. Lazy, incoherent rant is what this article should be titled. And for the editor to have the temerity to pass this as acceptable writing is shocking. Ah well, anything for clicks right? You got mine. Well done. Your mother must be proud.

poolshortsdown
Gerrard Constantly Searching For That Final Hurrah

Footer 365

Andy Carroll accuses Brendan Rodgers of lying

Andy Carroll has accused Brendan Rodgers of lying to him when he was trying to force him out of Anfield.

Frank Lampard tells Soccer AM that Jose Mourinho would 'love' him back at Chelsea

Frank Lampard has revealed Jose Mourinho would "love" him to return to Chelsea once his playing career is over.

David de Gea future key to Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has reiterated his desire to keep David de Gea at Old Trafford.

Mail Box

'Costa Is A Bad Man. Suarez Is Not'

That's quite some claim. And yes, unfortunately we are still talking about this. We also have mails on Ronaldinho, possible replacements for Yaya Toure and more...

Red Mist Better Than Calculated Costa?

Hmmm. We're not sure about this argument - one Mailbox says Luis Suarez is easier to forgive because he is a little loco. We also have mails on Studge and more...

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