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?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

In the driving seat: Peter Kay

Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road