Andre Villas-Boas happy to take risk and not buy extra Tottenham striker
Side beaten by Leeds contained no recognised strikers
The Tottenham Hotspur manager, Andre Villas-Boas, defended his decision to field a side minus any recognised strikers in his club's shock FA Cup exit at Leeds and insisted that the decision not to buy goalscoring reinforcements for the rest of the Premier league campaign was "a risk we are prepared to take".
Villas-Boas said that Jermain Defoe's knock to the hip, sustained in training, was the reason for his omission from the side, though the player is available for Wednesday's match at Norwich City. "We wanted to go through. We didn't make any aggressive changes," Villas-Boas said, at the end of a weekend on which Queen's Park Rangers, Norwich and Liverpool have also all been criticised for a lack of focus on the FA Cup which has led to their exit from the tournament. "We have confidence in the players we choose. We could have won the game."
Villas-Boas has already admitted that Tottenham's progress into the second half of the Premier League season with only two experienced recognised strikers – Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor, who may remain absent on African Cup of Nations duty for several weeks – constitutes a danger. Declaring last night that he would not bring in another frontman, he denied it would be a problem as his side pursue a Champions League place.
"We are happy with the options we have," he said. "We understand an injury could put us in a difficult position. But it wasn't because we missed a lot of attacking opportunities that we lost [to Leeds]. We could not create many clear-cut chances."
The Leeds United manager, Neil Warnock, whose club were rewarded with an attractive fifth-round tie at Manchester City, said: "We've got some good players here. We haven't got a massive squad but when we play like we did today it makes me really proud to be the manager. It was a fabulous day for everybody. I didn't think we got anything other than we deserved."
Warnock is unhappy about his top scorer Luciano Becchio's transfer request, which comes despite the club offering him a new three-and-a-half-year contract, which would make him comfortably the highest wage-earner at Leeds. "If we don't get a replacement he isn't going anywhere," Warnock said.
Latest in Sport
Commonwealth Games 2014: It ain’t London 2012, but Glasgow aims to go ‘with a roar’
Loic Remy to Liverpool: Striker undergoes medical in Boston ahead of £8.5m move
Manchester United transfer news: Arturo Vidal subject of £39m bid - reports
Liverpool transfer news: Javier Manquillo expected to join on two-year loan deal
Manchester City transfer news: Arsenal interested in Matija Nastasic as a possible replacement for Thomas Vermaelen
- 1 Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The myth of Hamas’s human shields
- 5 Dutch paedophile club to fight their ban at the European Court of Human Rights
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains