Tottenham can set ‘an example’ in the Europa League, says AVB

The Spurs manager believes the club should use the competition to build momentum for the season

Andre Villas-Boas believes Tottenham need to put 100 per cent into their Europa League endeavours if the club are to achieve any success this season.

Spurs are in European action against Anzhi Makhachkala this Thursday and after a comfortable 3-0 victory over Tromso in the group opener, the Portuguese coach will be keen to make it six points from six.

In previous seasons the Europa League has been viewed as something of a secondary concern among club coaches across the continent, but for AVB the competition continues to hold a special place in his heart.

Back in 2011, the then Porto boss became the youngest ever coach to win a major European club tournament, after guiding the Portuguese giants to a 1-0 victory over Braga.

Last season, AVB helped Tottenham to the quarter-finals of the competition, but after a summer of major changes in the playing staff at the club, the Europa League is more important than ever to the Lilywhites boss.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with, Villas-Boas was full of praise for new additions like Paulinho, Roberto Soldado and Christian Eriksen but admitted that some patience was still required among fans.

"All of them [the new signings] will have difficulties adapting to the pace of the Premier League, but all of them are creative players,” he said,

And while AVB remained confident that the new players would acclimatise to the pace and intensity of the English top-flight in time, competing in Europe was crucial.

“We have learned from last season that we can't use the Europa League as an excuse,” he said.

“We have to use it as an example and the players will be fully motivated to do it this season too."

With a variety of options in midfield and attack, AVB will likely use the competition to rotate his team, but by adopting a more focused approach to proceedings, perhaps it  could provide a springboard to success on the domestic front.

The manager certainly seems to be getting the best out of Jermain Defoe in the competition, with the forward grabbing a brace in the group oper and Spurs have an excellent opportunity to make it back-to-back wins in the Europa League with hosts Anzhi yet to win this season.

image: © hollidaypics

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