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Friday 21 September 2018

Sol' freeze will thaw

AVB backs Spaniard despite Tromso blank

Tottenham Hotspur's Roberto Soldado. Photo: Nick Potts/ PA Wire
Tottenham Hotspur's Roberto Soldado. Photo: Nick Potts/ PA Wire

ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS defended Roberto Soldado after the Spaniard drew another blank last night.

Soldado has been faultless from the penalty spot so far this term, but he has only scored one league goal from open play since his £26million move from Valencia.

The 28-year-old failed to test the Tromso goalkeeper once during Tottenham's 2-0 Europa League victory in the Arctic freeze of northern Norway, but his manager was still happy with the former Real Madrid man's performance.

"He had good movement and he was involved in a lot of phases of play so I am happy (with him)," the Tottenham manager said.

"He needs a goal and he couldn't finish any of the situations (tonight) but generally his movement was good movement.

"He just needs one goal. It can happen to any striker. They live off the confidence of goals.

"At the moment it is not happening for him but he is trying. We spoke before the game and he understands that for his confidence it is important to get the ball in the back of the net.

"He is already on a good goal tally for the season. He needs more, particularly from open play. We are very patient."

Villas-Boas faced questions about his future following last weekend's 6-0 mauling at Manchester City.

The 36-year-old was happy, therefore, to return to winning ways in Norway and he reckons his team have got their confidence back just in time for the arrival of Manchester United on Sunday.

"I am very happy for the players to have bounced back from the defeat against Man City," the Spurs boss said.

"Obviously the opponent we have on Sunday is the biggest that we can have.

"But to prepare for that game, it was important to get back to winning ways tonight and we did it in a fashion where we looked solid and created lots of chances.

"I am extremely happy with the performance and result."

Villas-Boas' critics multiplied last weekend after the rout at City.

Concerns

Jamie Carragher, Gary Neville and Alan Shearer all laid into the Tottenham team for their poor showing in the north-west, and another critic came out of the woodwork on Wednesday in Alan Sugar.

The former Tottenham chairman aired his concerns about Villas-Boas' management on national radio and said his dream scenario would be to see the Portuguese replaced by former United boss Alex Ferguson.

Villas-Boas, in a far better mood than during his cagey pre-match press conference, joked that Sugar had a point.

"I think it is pretty fair (to say Ferguson could do better)," Villas-Boas said with a big smile.

"With the record Ferguson has, he would be a pretty good manager in any club in the world."

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