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Defoe quality not lost on AVB
Published : 04 Oct 2013 08:16:54Rss feed
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas praised Jermain Defoe after he moved within a goal of Martin Chivers' club-record European haul in the win at Anzhi Makhachkala - a performance seemingly not good enough to stop him returning to the bench this weekend.
The 30-year-old's first-half strike put Spurs on course for a 2-0 win in the Europa League and moved him one goal behind Chivers' long-standing record of 24.
Fans' favourite Defoe is fifth in the club's all-time scoring list and the goal in Russia was his seventh in four starts this season.
Such scoring form, though, has so far not been enough to persuade Villas-Boas to start him in the Premier League.
Big-money summer signing Roberto Soldado has been preferred as a lone striker and appears set to replace Defoe in the starting line-up in Sunday's return to league action against West Ham.
"We have to judge recovery and the fact that JD was involved and Soldado wasn't," Villas-Boas said. "Everything will come into consideration.
"We have been extremely happy with the performances of both. It is a question of deciding what is best for the team.
"It was another great goal, a great finish. It's really good to see him out there again doing extremely well whenever he's given the opportunity.
"He is a great professional, has a great attitude and now he's only one off Martin Chivers so it's a real great achievement for him.
"I think he has the ambition this season to go even further up the ladder in this record tally behind Martin Chivers and as a all-time goalscorer so I think that plays highly in his motivation, definitely."
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