• Premier League

Villas-Boas tells Modric to get his head right

ESPN staff
August 1, 2012

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has told wantaway midfielder Luka Modric that he needs to get his head right before he will be integrated back into the squad.

Modric, a transfer target for Real Madrid, was not a member of the Spurs party for their recently-completed tour of the United States, as the 26-year-old initially refused to attend pre-season training as he attempted to force his exit from the club.

The Croatian soon relented from his stance and apologised for his behaviour, but Villas-Boas nevertheless fined the one-time Chelsea target and left him to train with the reserves back at the club's north London training ground.

With the first-team squad now set to return to England to ramp up preparations for the new campaign, Villas-Boas has now warned Modric that he will have to prove he is both mentally and physically at the same level as his peers before he will be included in first-team duties again.

"Luka is doing double sessions on his own in London. When we get back to London I will give some of the players some time off and when we return to sessions we will decide what is best for Luka to do," Villas-Boas said.

"He is a Tottenham player obviously, but he has to be in good mental condition to return to our training because his colleagues are one level up in terms of preparation and fitness.

"So we will have to setup a program for him that gradually brings him up to the team, that gradually brings him to fitness level - and then see what happens."

Tottenham defeated New York Red Bulls 2-1 on Tuesday to end their pre-season tour on a high.

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