Andre Villas-Boas risks upsetting Hugo Lloris after reiterating Brad Friedel is Tottenham's number one

 

Andre Villas-Boas admits Brad Friedel is still very much in possession of the Tottenham number one jersey after another excellent performance from the American in yesterday's 2-1 win over QPR.

Villas-Boas chalked up his first home win as Tottenham manager thanks to a second-half comeback, but had it not been for Friedel, the scoreline would have been very different.

The 41-year-old pulled off two world-class saves from Clint Hill and Junior Hoilett to prevent Spurs from sliding to defeat inside 45 minutes as Rangers threatened to run riot in the London derby at White Hart Lane.

Hugo Lloris, signed for £8million from Lyon, made his debut against Lazio last Thursday but was on the bench again yesterday, and Villas-Boas looks set to keep faith with Friedel for the club's next Barclays Premier League match at Manchester United on Sunday.

The Portuguese lavished praise on Friedel last night, and admitted it may take more than one bad performance to persuade him to ditch the former Liverpool man and hand France captain Lloris his first league start.

"We have made Hugo alert that whenever Brad has a bad game we won't (drop him). These things have to be taken very carefully," Villas-Boas said.

"We don't doubt Hugo's dimension and talent but at the moment we are paying respect to a player who is performing very well.

"At the right time we will think about it or not and Hugo is an extremely good professional.

"He wants to come back into the team but he is competing for the jersey and he will get his chance very soon."

Jermain Defoe is another player who is thriving on the increased competition for places at White Hart Lane.

Defoe calmly slotted home from 12 yards yesterday less than two minutes after Alejandro Faurlin had put the ball in his own net to make it 1-1.

"He (Defoe) is performing at the top level," Villas-Boas said.

"He has had his opportunities this season and he is taking them tremendously.

"This summer I had conversations with him and his agent and told them that I am a person who respects people who are performing well and he deserved a lot of credit for the goals he scored last season.

"This season he is facing tough competition from (Emmanuel) Adebayor and Clint Dempsey, but he keeps on performing. The competition is making him tick."

Having seen his team dominate the first half, QPR manager Mark Hughes was disappointed to emerge from White Hart Lane with nothing.

The winless Londoners, who already have Fabio, Anton Ferdinand and Stephane Mbia out through injury, lost another defender yesterday when Jose Bosingwa hobbled off with a hamstring strain.

Bosingwa will today undergo a scan to assess the severity of the injury, with Hughes fearing a long lay-off for the former Chelsea man.

"When you feel something as immediately as that it's like to be a grade one or possibly a grade two (strain)," the Welshman said.

"We'll get him scanned and hopefully it will be slightly better news than what we fear at the moment."

PA

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