Tottenham v West Ham: Andre Villas-Boas confident Spurs can recover after Europa League exploits
The north London club were playing in Russia on Thursday
Friday 04 October 2013
Andre Villas-Boas is confident there will be no European hangover when Tottenham return to domestic action against West Ham this weekend.
Spurs arrived home in the early hours of Friday morning after winning their Europa League clash with Anzhi Makhachkala 2-0 on the outskirts of Moscow.
First-half efforts from Jermain Defoe and Nacer Chadli proved the difference in what was likely to be Spurs' toughest test of Group K, although attention now is on the return to Premier League action against the Hammers on Sunday.
"Now it is just about recovery," manager Villas-Boas said. "Obviously the win helps us recover mentally, which helps us recover physically quicker.
"It is nothing different from what we've done in the past.
"We will try to get at least the minimum sleep, but from Friday to Saturday we will sleep well and recover the players for West Ham.
"We will just prepare for that game on the day of the game, give the players information on the day of the game."
Villas-Boas will be unable to call on Younes Kaboul after the injury-plagued defender took a knock on Thursday night.
Etienne Capoue is also out, although Villas-Boas hopes he will return in 10 days.
The Portuguese is more hopeful on injured trio Danny Rose, Aaron Lennon and Emmanuel Adebayor.
"Danny Rose is a 50-50 chance for West Ham," Villas-Boas said.
"Definitely yes after the international break, but probably not ready for West Ham.
"Aaron was back training with the team on Monday. He will be regaining his fitness with the team and we look to have him back in contention for a first-team place after the international break.
"Ade has just come back to training with the first-team. We travelled on Tuesday so we haven't trained with him.
"He definitely won't be involved against West Ham, so hopefully within this next international break we can build him up to start competing again for his place in the team."
Jan Vertonghen and Paulinho will return to the fold for the visit of Sam Allardyce's side having been rested for the trip to Russia, where new signing Vlad Chiriches impressed.
Signed from Steaua Bucharest in the summer, Spurs fans voted the 23-year-old man of the match on his first European start for the club.
"He is competing with three very good central defenders," Villas-Boas said.
"He made the team straight after he was registered and went onto the bench against Chelsea and played at Anzhi.
"Out of three possible games he was involved in two, so he's in competition with Michael Dawson, Jan and Younes - and performances like this make it easier for him [to compete]."
One of those that failed to impress on a near-freezing night in Ramenskoye was club record signing Erik Lamela.
The winger has yet to nail down a starting spot after his £30million summer arrival from Roma and last night struggled on the bobbly Saturn Stadium pitch, which deteriorated as the match progressed.
"They were difficult conditions," Villas-Boas said. "The pitch was awful and it was difficult for technical players to make a difference.
"We still tried to play the ball but you saw many times we lost it.
"I am extremely happy with what Erik has been doing. It was difficult for him because he is a player that likes to be creative, involved in short combinations and he couldn't come into the game as much as we wanted.
"But up until now I'm extremely happy with what he's been doing. He just faces tough competition from Andros Townsend, who has also been doing very well, for that position."
It was a comfortable win for the north Londoners, although Anzhi improved after Lacina Traore's half-time introduction.
Unfit to start after injury, the giant striker's presence allowed Anzhi to dominate the second half without creating many clear-cut chances.
Traore is one of the last remaining stars still with the Russian side, stripped to the bare bones of their big-money signings by a summer fire sale.
The Ivorian looks set to soon leave, though, with Liverpool one of the clubs reportedly interested.
"I cannot say I am 100 per cent sure he will stay," said manager Gadzhi Gadzhiev. "Of course there is a possibility he could leave in the winter time.
"A lot will depend on him of course and the club's position with him."
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