AVB urges Spurs to build momentum

16:00 28 December 2012

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas. Photo credit: Andrew Matthews/PA wire

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas. Photo credit: Andrew Matthews/PA wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Andre Villas-Boas has called on Tottenham to open up a gap on their rivals so that they do not slip away and miss out on Champions League football again.

Tottenham travel to Sunderland tomorrow looking to cement their place in the top four after an inconsistent first half of the season under their Portuguese manager.

Despite being fourth in the table, Spurs have failed to show the consistency they exhibited last season. The Londoners have squandered nine points by conceding late goals and their season has been characterised by often nervy and unconvincing home displays.

Wary that just five points separate Tottenham from eighth-place Stoke, Villas-Boas knows his team must go on a winning run to separate themselves from the likes of Everton, Arsenal and West Brom, who lurk just below them.

Although Chelsea’s victory in Munich proved to be the final nail in Tottenham’s Champions League dream, they could have secured qualification much earlier had they not fallen away in the second half of last season under Harry Redknapp and Villas-Boas does not want a repeat this time around.

“At the moment everyone is packed together, which is very dangerous,” the Tottenham manager said.

“What we want to do is have a stronger second half to the season than last year.

“We have to continue our progress to hopefully open a gap between us and the rest of the teams that sit near the top.

“Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United will compete for the title between them.

“For the top four Everton are there, Liverpool will come back strongly definitely and there is always a surprise team - last year it was Newcastle, this year it is West Brom. What you want is to finally settle into the top four, opening up some kind of gap if possible.”

One complaint Villas-Boas cannot have is the way his team have performed on the road this season.

Spurs have won five away games, the latest one being Saturday’s 4-0 crushing of Aston Villa.

In Sunderland, Villas-Boas knows Spurs will come up against one of the form teams in the league, however.

The Black Cats have flirted with the relegation zone for much of the season, but they are now seven points clear after wins over Reading, Southampton and champions Manchester City.

Villas-Boas said: “Their form is improving. They have come out a little bit from that pressure zone and in some ways we would have been better off playing them a couple of weeks ago.

“It is a major boost of confidence for them, so we will expect an extremely difficult game.

“It is always difficult playing there, particularly when they have just won against the champions. They can’t find better inspiration than that.

“We are on a good run, but we expect a run for our money, a difficult game.

“Hopefully we can get this festive period out of the way with good results.”

Gareth Bale was key to Tottenham’s victory at Villa Park, where he put in a stunning display to leave with the matchball following a classy hat-trick.

Reports in Spain continue to circulate that Bale will move to Real Madrid in January, but Villas-Boas has repeatedly stated that he will not sell the talented winger.

The Portuguese is more likely to ship out back-up players David Bentley, Heurelho Gomes, Tom Huddlestone and Carlo Cudicini in January.

And the 35-year-old is also sticking to his line that there will be no new arrivals at White Hart Lane in the transfer window.

“Regarding January, I think it is very unlikely that we would do anything,” Villas-Boas added.

Clint Dempsey and Huddlestone could return to the fold for tomorrow’s lunch-time kick-off after missing the win at Villa due to their respective groin and knee injuries.

Related articles


Live Blog Transfer Window Live July 28

 

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Tottenham news

Saturday, August 1, 2015
Jack Wilshere of Arsenal takes on Nathaniel Clyne but should either be in your fantasy team?  (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Having problems making that £100m Fantasy Premier League kitty stretch? Finding yourself stuck with Diego Poyet instead of Diego Costa? Then read the first of our fantasy football season previews.

Saturday, August 1, 2015
Kanu and Thierry Henry both made transfer moves during this week in years gone by but how many of these deals do you remember? (Photo By Ben Radford/Getty Images)

Arsene Wenger made one of the best signings in his managerial career, two Dutch internationals arrived for lengthy Premier League stays and Tottenham splashed £15m on a Blackburn winger during this week in years gone by.

Saturday, August 1, 2015
Andriy Yarmolenko of Dynamo Kyiv ia challenged by Gareth Barry of Everton,  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Dynamo Kiev winger Andriy Yarmolenko is in talks with Tottenham, according to reports in the Ukraine.

Saturday, August 1, 2015
Clinton N'Jie of Lyon (Photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images)

All the latest news and transfer rumours from our London clubs as we enter the final month of the window.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Read more
Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Read more
Terrific tea, creamy cakes and splendid sandwiches at Mews of Mayfair.

Celebrate a truly quintessentially British tradition with the chance of winning a luxurious Afternoon Tea for two people at Mews of Mayfair, complete with a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

Read more