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Andre Villas-Boas hails 'great team performance' in north London derby win over Arsenal at White Hart Lane
Villas-Boas is hopeful the result could adversely affect the dressing room of Spurs’ north London rivals
Andre Villas-Boas hailed a “great team performance” during his side’s 2-1 win over Arsenal but warned that Tottenham have not yet secured a top-four finish.
Spurs claimed the bragging rights in north London courtesy of two quick fire goals from Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon at the end of the first half.
Arsenal clinched one back after half time with a Per Mertesacker header but the home side held on for an important win in the race for the top four.
Villas-Boas is hopeful the result could adversely affect the dressing room of Spurs’ north London rivals whilst propelling his own team forward with some tough games to come.
The Portuguese head coach said: “It’s not a big margin yet for us to be completely safe. What we think is it can have a negative effect on their motivation, on ours too obviously but particularly on them because the difference from last year is we are on a positive spiral and they and in a negative spiral in terms of results - to get out of that is very difficult.”
Emmanuel Adebayor and Moussa Dembele were both forced off with second half injuries but Villas-Boas said both should be available to face Inter Milan on Thursday.
Tottenham’s players celebrated in front of their delirious fans at the final whistle, with several throwing their shirts into the crowd - a sign, Villas-Boas says, of a special bond in the dressing room.
He said: “I think there is a great focus on making this the year that we qualify for the Champions League once again. Everyone is wanting to get there and the players have been outstanding in making it their objective and their desire has been tremendous.
“There were some great individual performances (today). We have to mention everybody but Sigurdsson did ever so well, Parker had a great game, Benoit is improving in form and confidence and Dempsey is coming back soon – four players that can make a big difference to us.”
Tottenham reclaimed third spot from their other London rivals Chelsea with today’s win but with Liverpool, Man City, Everton and The Blues still to play, Villas-Boas is not getting carried away.
He said: “At the moment we keep our feet on the ground and keep on moving – there is still some difficult games to play. It isn’t finished yet, anything is still possible – we just have to get the most points we can.”