Football

Published: Monday December 16, 2013 MYT 4:27:02 AM
Updated: Monday December 16, 2013 MYT 4:27:04 AM

I'll battle on to get it right at Spurs, says Villas-Boas

LONDON (Reuters) - Chastened Andre Villas-Boas remains convinced he has a team capable of securing a Champions League place and said he would keep fighting after Tottenham Hotspur were thrashed 5-0 at home by Liverpool on Sunday.

Spurs sit seventh, eight points behind arch rivals and Premier League leaders Arsenal after Luis Suarez and Liverpool ran riot at White Hart Lane.

It was a second heavy defeat in a month for Spurs who were crushed 6-0 at Manchester City on November 24.

"It is not my control, it's not my call. I won't resign and I am not a quitter. All I can do is work hard with the players," the Portuguese coach told a news conference when asked whether his job was safe.

"Everybody is down as you can understand. I repeat that we are not far off. The reality is that in the Premier League we are completely off our expectations.

"This is a top four squad but in the Premier League the form is not there. We have the squad, ability, we believe in each other."

Spurs anticipated the arrival of 100 million euros (82.8 million pounds) from Gareth Bale's sale to Real Madrid by bringing in the likes of Spain striker Roberto Soldado, Argentine forward Erik Lamela, Denmark playmaker Christian Eriksen and Brazil midfielder Paulinho.

But the new signings have still to make their mark consistently and Paulinho was sent off against Liverpool for a high challenge on Suarez.

"We had worked hard to build a strong team and we are happy with the signings... the players we have are top quality and we have to work hard to bond them together. We have been extremely unfortunate with injuries," Villas-Boas said.

Since conceding six goals at City, Spurs had appeared to have got back on track with a home draw against Manchester United and back-to-back away wins at Fulham and Sunderland.

They have also eased into the knockout phase of the Europa League by winning all six group games, but another slip-up at home to London rivals West Ham United in the quarter-finals of the League Cup on Wednesday could leave Villas-Boas facing an uncertain future.

"The result (against Liverpool) makes it difficult to bounce back, but we have done it before.

"We will have to work hard these next few days."

(Writing by Justin Palmer; Editing by Rex Gowar)

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