Tottenham will not enter transfer market to replace Sandro

Andre Villas-Boas rules out January transfers to fill void left by midfielder

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas will resist the temptation to enter the transfer market to sign a replacement for injured midfielder Sandro.

The Brazilian suffered knee ligament damage during last weekend's 0-0 draw at QPR, and has since undergone surgery that will see the 23-year-old miss the remainder of the season.

Despite losing such an influential player, Villas-Boas has said he will stick with the midfielders he currently has at the club, with Jake Livermore's potential loan-move to Rangers now seemingly in jeopardy.

"The only thing we have done at the moment is hold on to our midfielders, the ones who are here," Villas-Boas said.

"We have put on hold the movement of Jake Livermore's possible loan to another club. It is not out of the question, I think we are still pretty happy with what we have.

"We have to be careful. We still have a couple of weeks before the market closes, so we have to be careful with the decision and it will be something we hold on to and see how we go."

When asked if he was lining up any new arrivals the Portuguese replied: "It is not impossible but it is unlikely. At the moment there is nothing."

England international Scott Parker is the likely replacement for Sandro, with the former West Ham skipper only just returning from an Achilles problem.

The 32-year-old has not started a Premier League game since April but has returned in recent weeks, and Villas-Boas believes he will play a vital role for Spurs.

"Scott was out at the beginning of the season and he is going to be a major boost for us in midfield," he said.

"Tom Huddlestone showed good levels in the game against Coventry and Jake was always there threatening, so I think we will be fine."

Tottenham won 3-2 at Old Trafford in September but ex-Chelsea manager Villas-Boas does not feel that result has much bearing on Sunday's game, given United's current hot streak.

He said: "A lot of time has gone by in between. I think it was the fifth or sixth game of the season and United had already lost to Everton and lost to us at home.

"From then on they have been on a formidable run and they sit now with one more point than the league leaders last season who were Man City.

"The run of form is amazing. It is going to be a completely different game.

"I think United have grown up a lot. They are more confident and they have the return of Kagawa, which can be an influence for the remainder of the season, Rooney is back and the central defenders are getting back.

"It is a very, very difficult game for us and we maybe meet them at the worst time; full of confidence and wanting to continue on this amazing run they are on."

Villas-Boas knows his side face a different test now and is looking forward to gauging how far away his squad is from the current league leaders.

"At that time we started very, very well and that always causes an impact in the game, and we went 2-0 up in the first half and that gave us confidence and we were positive about doing things well, we had nothing to lose," he said.

"We want to continue to improve and I think a good reference, this game, regarding what we want to achieve in the future and if we want to challenge for trophies in a better way.

"You have to be very organised. I'm not sure if an all-out attack posture will lead to success against such a strong team."

A top-four finish was the prerequisite when Villas-Boas replaced Harry Redknapp at Spurs during the summer but, following Chelsea's 2-2 draw at home to Southampton, the 35-year-old is still hopeful of finishing above his former employers.

"I think after the draw, Chelsea against Southampton, obviously we looked positively into that," he said.

"Two points from third place is nothing in the Premier League as you know, and both teams face very hard games this weekend, with Chelsea playing Arsenal and us playing Manchester United.

"Everton, who are knocking on the door, go to Southampton so I think it can still shift very quickly. Obviously we want to continue to progress and it is good to see that third place isn't going away."

PA

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