• Premier League

Villas-Boas hints at Friedel recall

ESPN staff
October 18, 2012
Brad Friedel is locked in a battle with Hugo Lloris for the Spurs No. 1 jersey © PA Photos

Andre Villas-Boas has stated that he has not yet made a decision about his goalkeeper for Tottenham's match against Chelsea this weekend, but surprisingly hinted that Brad Friedel may return to the starting line-up.

After the issue dominated Spurs' early-season fixtures, Villas-Boas had appeared to settle it by finally making Lloris his first choice for the 2-0 home win over Aston Villa. On Thursday, though, the Tottenham boss said it was still open.

"They compete for a position," the Tottenham manager said. "In the end, we have made Brad the No. 1 for the beginning of the season and we still see Brad as No. 1, a player who has been tremendous in goal for us. We respect that. Hugo has been tremendous for us in exactly the same manner. It is obviously a decision I have to take, which I will take [on Friday] and in the future.

"Certainly, Brad has been tremendous, we respect that, he is looking in form, as Hugo is. He has done brilliantly this week for France [in the 1-1 draw away to Spain]. So competition will continue between the two. The decision will be left before the game."

Villas-Boas also spoke of Friedel's disappointment when the American learned his remarkable eight-year run of consecutive Premier League starts was to come to an end three weeks ago.

"We spoke about it before," Villas-Boas added. "In the end, it was difficult for him, not because of the consecutive run - he was looking good. It was not on performance that we made the switch, that's for sure. We had the opportunity to give Hugo a consecutive run of four games - including the two national team games like it happened. We are extremely happy about the fact we did. It gave him the first impact of Premier League football. But, as a great professional, he has to move on from that."

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