Andre Villas-Boas demands Tottenham take Europa League seriously

 

Andre Villas-Boas admitted yesterday that he needs to change his players' approach to the Europa League, so that they value it like the Champions League, ahead of Tottenham Hotspur's first game against Lazio tonight.

The Europa League was not a priority for the former manager Harry Redknapp last year and Spurs went out at the group stage. The competition is rather more important to Villas-Boas, who won it with Porto in 2011, and he revealed that he would have to teach his players to value the Thursday night games and physically prepare for them.

"I think the most important thing for you is to change [the mentality] of the players so this midweek game starts being important once again," Villas-Boas said. "Tottenham missed the Champions League through Chelsea winning it. But if this was a Champions League game most of the players would be willing and would be making sure they were completely fit.

"So, based on the respect that we must have for a competition like this, first we have to create the habit of them recovering to play in this midweek game, getting used to playing this midweek game, and therefore creating this habit. I think their mental disposition for the game, their physical disposition for the game, will be extremely higher than before."

Redknapp had said last year that playing in the Europa League was like a "punishment", and that playing on Thursday and then on Sunday "messes the whole week up".

Villas-Boas, while keen not to criticise the opinions of others, said that the Europa League was an "extremely difficult competition" which "should be promoted". The demands of playing twice a week, with Queen's Park Rangers coming to White Hart Lane on Sunday, will mean some changes to the team.

"I think everybody is in contention," Villas-Boas said. "Obviously we need to respect that the QPR game is just after this one, too, so some changes can be made in the team, even to the structure of the team."

Emmanuel Adebayor will not come into the starting line-up as a result of a tight hamstring but the deadline-day signings Hugo Lloris, the France goalkeeper, and the American midfielder Clint Dempsey could make their first starts for Tottenham.

Since returning from international duty, Lloris has impressed. "The only thing we can say is that his talent is immense and easily visible from the time he has trained with us," added Villas-Boas.

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 



Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most
Katy Perry prevented from buying California convent for $14.5m after nuns sell to local businesswoman instead

No grace of God for Katy Perry as sisters act to stop her buying convent

Archdiocese sues nuns who turned down star’s $14.5m because they don’t approve of her
Ajmer: The ancient Indian metropolis chosen to be a 'smart city' where residents would just be happy to have power and running water

Residents just want water and power in a city chosen to be a ‘smart’ metropolis

The Indian Government has launched an ambitious plan to transform 100 of its crumbling cities
Michael Fassbender in 'Macbeth': The Scottish play on film, from Welles to Cheggers

Something wicked?

Films of Macbeth don’t always end well - just ask Orson Welles... and Keith Chegwin
10 best sun creams for body

10 best sun creams for body

Make sure you’re protected from head to toe in the heatwave
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon files

Milos Raonic has ability to get to the top but he must learn to handle pressure in big games
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes

There is more than a shiny trophy to be won by England’s World Cup women

The success of the decidedly non-famous females wearing the Three Lions could do wonders for a ‘man’s game’ riddled with cynicism and greed
How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map