Andre Villas-Boas delighted with selection dilemma presented by return of Jermain Defoe

Striker is hitting form at just the right time says Spurs manager

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas thinks Jermain Defoe has rediscovered his deadly scoring touch just at the right time.

Defoe played some of the best football of his career before Christmas, finding the net 13 times to silence the doubters who claimed he was no longer good enough to cut it in the Barclays Premier League.

His form and fitness dipped just after the new year, however, thanks to a niggling pelvis problem.

The 30-year-old went through a 12-game dry patch, but he looked back to his best on Sunday as he came off the bench to help inspire Tottenham to come from behind and beat Manchester City 3-1.

Emmanuel Adebayor's erratic form had led to fears that Spurs would not have the firepower to keep up with rivals Arsenal and Chelsea in the run-in, but Defoe's return gives Villas-Boas a welcome selection headache ahead of Saturday's trip to Wigan.

"Yes, it's a big decision (to choose between Defoe and Adebayor), but we are extremely happy," Villas-Boas told a press conference.

"It's very important for us to have Jermain back, particularly because he found the back of the net.

"Goalkeepers have been making impossible saves against him and he finally got the ball in the net the other day with a tremendous goal that helped us get the three points.

"It's good because he had a blip in terms of goals, not performances - he was always sharp - but he had a couple of injuries.

"Now he is back he gives us that quality and confidence by scoring."

Villas-Boas is likely to partner Defoe with Gareth Bale - who also scored on his return from injury against City.

Aaron Lennon, arguably as important to Spurs this season as Player of the Year favourite Bale, failed a fitness test prior to last Sunday's game, but Villas-Boas confirmed the England winger is fit to return from his three-week knee injury layoff this weekend.

"He has been training with the team all week so he will be available for selection," the Portuguese said.

"He is a good player to have back, he has had a tremendous impact. It is another big boost for the squad."

Prior to last Sunday, Spurs' form looked to be deserting them in the final straight, just as it had done for the previous two years.

The win over last year's champions has given the squad a boost in morale, however.

"It was inspirational," the 35-year-old said.

"Hopefully with the motivation we had from that game we can get the result we want this weekend and for the rest of the season."

A win against Wigan will push Spurs into third - 24 hours before Arsenal take on the newly-crowned champions Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium.

Chelsea, who are a point ahead of Spurs, take on Swansea on Sunday - less than 72 hours after they play Basle, the team who knocked Spurs out of the Europa League.

Having up to three more games to play during a tight run-in could be seen as a disadvantage for Chelsea, but their former manager disagrees.

"For me it's an advantage when you are at the door of a European final," said Villas-Boas, who won the Europa League with Porto in 2011.

"It's a fantastic final. Obviously for Chelsea they are in it because they have been knocked out of the Champions League. It's not their ambition, not what they strive for.

"But they have done well to make the semi-finals. We would prefer to play that amount of games.

"It's something they have to cope with. They have a big, big squad."

PA

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test