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Villas Boas celebrates after the final whistle with first team fitness coach Jose Mario Rocha.
Villas Boas celebrates after the final whistle with first team fitness coach Jose Mario Rocha.
Image: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

AVB hails Spurs' ambition as Ferguson laments his side 'not defending properly'

The Portuguese boss said his side went to Old Trafford confident of upsetting the 23-year form guide.
Sep 29th 2012, 10:47 PM 970 1

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR MANAGER Andre Villas-Boas said his players had been confident of beating Manchester United away from home on Saturday evening.

Visitors Spurs bagged a 3-2 win for their first victory over United at Old Trafford since 1989, thanks to goals from Jan Vertonghen, Gareth Bale and Clint Dempsey.

Portuguese Villas-Boas revealed afterwards the Tottenham squad had been confident of ending their long wait to beat Alex Ferguson’s men in their own backyard.

“The players really felt they could nick a win here and the overall performance was an expression of that desire and ambition, though in different ways,” he said.

“In the first half, we attacked and kept the ball. In the second, we defended.”

Despite recording such a morale-boosting victory, Villas-Boas quickly dismissed any suggestion of his Spurs team being potential title-challengers.

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“I don’t think so,” he said.  ”A couple of days ago, we were exactly the opposite.

“This is a very special night for us but our quest is to qualify for the Champions League. It is very difficult to go for the title. We understand it is a place where the great teams of this country belong.

“We want to win a trophy this season – and we want Champions League qualification.”

United manager Ferguson bemoaned his team’s shaky performance at the back during the first 45 minutes at Old Trafford.

“We lost the first goal by not defending properly,” Ferguson said.

“They got a lucky break when the ball came off Jonny Evans, nonetheless, you can’t allow the left-back to get as far as that,” he said, referring to Vertonghen’s strike.

“It was a poor start and from then on, we were against the wind until half-time came along and we were able change things a bit.”

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