Tottenham boss denies claims of rift with players

AVB

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has denied claims that he has suffered a breakdown in relations with members of his first team squad.

Following Sunday's 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City side, rather predictably, the knives have been out for the Portuguese boss at White Hart Lane.

Monday morning heralded the start of reports that Villas-Boas may be running out of time to turn the season around, after three Premier League fixtures without victory - two of which have been losses.

Villas-Boas, 36, exited fellow London club Chelsea, after a rift with senior players who later went to consult Roman Abramovich about the management style of the former Porto coach. Following discussions with the players, Abramovich opted to sack Villas-Boas just nine months into his tenure at Stamford Bridge.

Fears are now emerging in the British press that the issue of player power may once again be rearing its head, following comments made by the Tottenham boss in the wake of their defeat at the Etihad Stadium.

Speaking post-match, Villas-Boas said: “We have to be ashamed of ourselves after this. It’s difficult to explain. Everything went wrong for us."

“I don’t need to point out individuals, but to lose 6-0 is extremely embarrassing for anyone involved in that."

Although Villas-Boas had not directly referenced any of his players, reports in the media suggested that his comments had been construed as operating a 'blame game', something which had left the Spurs players unimpressed by their boss.

On Wednesday, Villas-Boas looked to set the record straight when pressed about the claims.

When asked if the reports were true, the Tottenham chief said: "That can only come from creative minds."

Seemingly denying the rumour, Villas-Boas quickly moved on to discussing recent poor form ahead of the club's Europa League fixture with Tromso.

"The only thing that we can hold on at the moment is the reality that we don't score enough and we are worried about it," said Villas-Boas.

"We have to promote situations where we can do better with our chances. Obviously this is something we are working on and going to continue working on in the future."

Tottenham have had more shots than any other Premier League side this season (168), but have so far failed to score more than nine goals in the opening twelve games of the season.

Despite increasing criticism from many quarters, Villas-Boas also took the opportunity to give his backing to summer signing Roberto Soldado, before telling the press that he does not believe the answer to their goalscoring woes lies in the January transfer window.

" Soldado, Jermain Defoe and Adebayor are all proven goalscorers, so we can't really get much better than these three."

Tottenham face Norweigan side Tromso in the Norwegian city on Thursday night, before a weekend trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on Sunday.

image: © Vladimir Maiorov

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