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AVB unmoved by Adebayor ban
Published : 19 Nov 2012 06:48:00
Andre Villas-Boas insists Tottenham have enough firepower to kickstart their stuttering season despite Emmanuel Adebayor's three-match ban.
Adebayor scored the opening goal in Saturday's north London derby at Arsenal but he then triggered a spectacular Tottenham collapse with a moment of adrenaline-fuelled madness. The former Arsenal player, who was booed every time he touched the ball, launched in to a studs-up challenge on Santi Cazorla. Howard Webb sent the striker off, and Tottenham went on to lose 5-2. Adebayor's three-match suspension has put a big dent in Villas-Boas' plans. Adebayor looked sharp in the 17 minutes he was on the pitch and his effective partnership with Jermain Defoe seemed to cure the lack of penetration that has dogged Spurs for large parts of this season. With Harry Kane on loan at Norwich, Defoe is the only recognised striker Villas-Boas has at his disposal for the next three Premier League games, but he is not worried about the situation.
"Do we have enough firepower? Yes. We have one of the league's top scorers in Jermain Defoe," Villas-Boas said.
"Obviously recently we have been playing with Ade and he's been excellent, so we understand that he's one less option; one very important player but we have to adapt without him.
"Ade and Defoe have flourished well in the past and they know each other very well so to not have that will be hard to take, but the good thing is that the games against West Ham, Liverpool and Fulham are in one week so the player can be back quickly."
Villas-Boas raised more than a few eyebrows yesterday when he said he thought Spurs were in control of the north London derby from start to finish. Although the scoreline flattered the Gunners slightly, Tottenham never looked like catching Arsenal up after the dismissal of Adebayor and their defending was very poor at times. The Tottenham boss remained defiant about his team's performance after the match.
"It was a game that went well for us so we are proud of our players," the 35-year-old said.
"Obviously, at 3-1 with 10 men, you have nothing to lose, so you have to have a go and I think they incarnated that spirit, particularly after the 4-1, where they never put their arms down." Tottenham captain William Gallas, another former Arsenal player, admits the nature of the defeat was hard to stomach.
"It is very difficult to accept," the defender said.
"I think we at the beginning of the game played very well.
"When we scored the first goal I thought we controlled the game but after the sending off of Adebayor it was really difficult for us."
With Spurs now six points off fourth place, the next four games could turn out to be crucial for Villas-Boas' side. The former Chelsea manager has seen his team booed off on several occasions this season, but he has urged Spurs supporters to keep the faith.
"I think the fans should be proud of the players," Villas-Boas said.
"There can't be a booing situation when the players play with this passion and emotion and a desire to invert things.
"Our league position isn't good at the moment but it doesn't mean we can't turn it around.
"When you are poor, it can do damage, but when you play like we did against Arsenal I don't think it can be."
Villas-Boas hopes he will be helped by the return of long-term injury victims Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Scott Parker and Mousa Dembele.
"Hopefully we can have a couple of players back from injury in the next coming weeks," he said.