Andre Villas-Boas admitted that he is fighting to save his job after Sunday’s humiliating 5-0 defeat at home to Liverpool but insisted that he will not resign as Tottenham Hotspur manager.
Spurs were embarrassed at home by Liverpool, leaving them seventh in the table, and Villas-Boas acknowledged that his future was out of his hands, and that all he could do to save himself was work hard.
“It is not my call, I cannot control it,” said Villas-Boas when asked about his job security. “I have to get down to work. That’s the only thing I can focus on. The call on that decision is not mine.”
There is no prospect of Villas-Boas taking the decision out of Daniel Levy’s hands. “I won’t resign and I’m not a quitter,” he insisted. “The only thing I can do is work hard with the players and try and get the results back on track.”
Champions League qualification is the requirement at Tottenham this season but Spurs are already five points away from fourth, and suffered their most recent heavy defeat, three weeks after losing 6-0 at Manchester City.
“Everybody is down,” said Villas-Boas. “It’s the second expressive scoreline we’ve suffered this season, and we admit that, in the Premier League, things aren’t going in any shape or form the way we want it.”
Villas-Boas admitted that he is looking less likely to fulfil that top-four requirement. “We all have high expectations this season, and we still have them. We’re not far off. But the distance is increasing from those Champions League spots. The expressive result makes it difficult to bounce back. We have done it in the past. Our League Cup and Europa League form is completely different. We still dream of winning a trophy this season, but the reality is we’re still completely far off our expectations in the Premier League.”
Although the imbalances in Tottenham’s squad were exposed again, Villas-Boas said that he was happy with the players he has, although the squad has “suffered” from the intense transition.
“This is a top four squad, but in the Premier League the form isn’t there,” he added. “We built this squad to be up there challenging. We have the squad, the ability, and we believe in each other. But the results are not there to prove it.
“We’ve worked hard to build a strong team and we have a strong team. We are happy with the signings we have made. We’ve suffered dramatic changes from one season to the other, but the players we have are top quality. We have to work with them to bond them together into a team.”
Villas-Boas said that the heaviness of their high-profile defeats – yesterday, to Manchester City, and the 3-0 home defeat to West Ham United, was more damaging to Spurs’ chances than the overall pattern of their results.
“We could have been level on points today with Liverpool, but it went the other way round. It’s not the points tally that prevents us from dreaming with our position in the Premier League. It’s actually the expression of the results which has been difficult, from 3-0 to West Ham, 6-0 and 5-0. These things are costing us much more.
“This is much more difficult to recover. We’ve done it after the Manchester City defeat. I see no reason why we couldn’t right now.”
Spurs host West Ham United again on Wednesday night in the quarter-final of the Capital One Cup and Villas-Boas said they need to pick themselves and prepare for that match properly. “But we’ll have to work hard these next few days, before Wednesday,” he said, “particularly with the absentees from the injury list.”
Paulinho is banned from Wednesday’s match after being sent off on Sunday and Sandro picked up an injury against Liverpool and had to be replaced.
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