Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas not worried about lack of fitness


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The Independent Football

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas does not feel that his players will struggle for fitness against Chelsea tomorrow following the international break.

Spurs host their London rivals in the day's early kick-off, meaning they trained together today for the first time since several members of the squad travelled around the world to represent their national teams.

Clint Dempsey scored two goals for the United States as they beat Guatemala in a World Cup qualifier held in Kansas City whilst Kyle Walker, Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe were part of the England squad that was forced to play a day later in Poland due to a waterlogged pitch on Tuesday.

But Villas-Boas does not anticipate any international hang-over from his squad ahead of the fixture against his former club.

"I certainly don't expect any problems," he said. "Lot of players have recovery sessions as normal.

"We have left them on very, very light sessions in the gym with the medical department. So we don't expect any kind of problems at the moment, everyone is feeling okay."

"We are still at the beginning of the league, the players haven't accumulated so much fatigue throughout the season for that to happen.

"We have enough time to recover the players. We should be fresh and fine and powerful in the same way."

England's performance in their rescheduled match against Poland, in which they were lucky to secure a 1-1 draw, came under the spotlight when it was revealed the players had taken both caffeine pills and sleeping tablets due to the postponement.

Villas-Boas feels the use of such supplements aids the mental preparation of a player, rather than the physical aspect and does not believe it had any bearing on the result in Warsaw.

He explained: "In the end it's more a question of tricking the mind rather than the actual effect of any kind of sleeping tablet or caffeine. That's the way I see it.

"Certainly we use vitamins, we have to take care of players, we use drinks, energetic drinks for players, we use all kinds of situations, like any other team in the world.

"I don't think it was because of that England got the result they got. I think in the end it's a good point away anyway, because it's never easy to play against Poland, in their stadium, in those conditions, against a team that has players of tremendous talent too."

The 35-year-old Portuguese will face his former employers for the first time since he was sacked as Blues' boss in March, after just nine months in charge.

Villas-Boas is targeting a victory that would see Spurs move to within two points of Chelsea at the top of the Barclays Premier League, although he is not expecting an easy ride.

He said: "At the moment I think it's important for us to go nearer the top. There are two teams unbeaten in the Premier League - Manchester City and Chelsea.

"To a certain extent Chelsea are showing some form that Man City showed last year, not with the same points but certainly very, very efficient.

"It is never going be easy game for us. This kind of motivation, that we feel towards this game, the opposition will feel in exactly the same way.

"Certainly we want to win, because it might give us a chance to go nearer those spots where we think we belong at end of season.

"But there will be many other games and we still have to continue to improve."

Defoe also believes he will be fine by the time Spurs line-up against the European champions and has also been full of praise of the managerial style of Villas-Boas, who replaced Harry Redknapp as Spurs boss over the summer.

"It was heavy out there on your legs, but I'll have a good recovery session and hopefully I'll feel all right at the weekend," he said.

"What I like about him is that every game has a different approach. You know exactly how we've got to play, when we've got the ball and not got the ball.

"Speak to any of the boys, he has been fantastic for everyone - every player knows their jobs."