Tottenham boss Villas-Boas has plenty of festive spirit
Manager Andre Villas-Boas has reversed predecessor Harry Redknapp's ban on Christmas parties at Tottenham, insisting he is happy for the squad to have 'two or three' this winter.
Redknapp prevented his players from having a party three years ago after his team lost to Wolves just four days after Robbie Keane had organised a secret and raucous trip to Dublin. Redknapp's new team QPR will also not have a Christmas party this month, but Villas-Boas is happy for his players to let their hair down.
"We will try to have two or three (parties)," Villas-Boas said. "It's normal. It's part of our group spirit. I don't think it will affect performances. We will try to gather the group, to have dinner together and go on from there."
Villas-Boas has looked increasingly relaxed in recent weeks with his team playing some of their best football of the season. The Londoners earned their third straight Barclays Premier League win on Saturday when they defeated Fulham 3-0 at Craven Cottage.
The win moved Spurs up to fourth in the table - behind Chelsea on goal difference - and on Thursday they have a very good chance of progressing to the knockout stages of the Europa League.
Having won the competition with Porto in 2010, Villas-Boas is determined to make sure Spurs progress by avoiding defeat against Panathinaikos. UEFA are considering scrapping the competition and replacing it with an enlarged Champions League, but the Portuguese thinks that would be a crazy idea.
"It's difficult for me (to accept)," Villas-Boas said. "We lost the Cup Winners' Cup and you miss it. Most clubs are in a difficult financial situation. Increasing the Champions League means you have to remove the name 'Champions' out of it as it would not make any sense."
Villas-Boas intends to rotate his team for the final Group J clash, with number one Hugo Lloris expected to make way for Brad Friedel, who has had to sit out the last five games. Villas-Boas rebuffed an attempt by Blackburn to sign Friedel as a player/coach after Lloris assumed the number one spot at Spurs.
"Brad has been excellent, I spoke to him and he has been such an important player for us," Villas-Boas said. "Rotation has not been because of performances. Both goalkeepers' performances have been excellent. It gives me the ability at any time to throw a different keeper into the game.
"I don't know anything about (Blackburn's bid). We are trying to hold onto our best assets and Brad is certainly one of them."
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