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Andre Villas-Boas believes that Andros Townsend has the potential to become a big star for Spurs in the future.

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But the head coach concedes that the 21-year-old will have to overcome some of the best players in the world if he is to hold down a regular place in the Tottenham team and make a real impact at White Hart Lane.

Townsend has made six appearances so far this campaign, scoring a fine individual effort in the 3-0 Capital One Cup victory at Carlisle.

However, that was his only start and he has been restricted to late substitute appearances in his other outings, coming off the bench for the final moments of the league victories over Reading, QPR and Aston Villa.

Villas-Boas insists that he has plenty of faith in the young winger, but he is also warning the player that he faces some of the staunchest competition on the globe as he seeks to break through and become a regular for the Lilywhites in the Premier League.

“He’s been coming in in the last couple of games and to be fair in the games he has played he has made quite the difference in terms of his contribution to the team,” said Villas-Boas.

“Obviously he competes against the best players in the world with Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon, and Clint Dempsey can play in the channels too.

“It’s difficult competition but I go back to what I always say – if a player so young like this triumphs over players of this dimension then the future is his.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs

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Tottenham Hotspur

Nickname: The Lilywhites.

Ground: White Hart Lane (capacity 36,310).

Founded: 1882.

Honours: First Division (until 1992) and Premier League: 1951, 1961

Second Division: 1920, 1950.

Southern League: 1900.

FA Cup: 1901, 1921, 1961, 1962, 1967, 1981, 1982, 1991.

League Cup: 1971, 1973, 1999, 2008.

Uefa Cup: 1972, 1984.

Cup Winners’ Cup: 1963.

Leading goalscorers: Jimmy Greaves, 379.

Leading appearances: Steve Perryman, 854.