• Premier League

AVB: Spurs can bounce back

ESPN staff
March 18, 2013

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is confident his side can return to winning ways despite recording three straight defeats after losing 1-0 to Fulham on Sunday.

Former Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov came back to haunt his old club after his goal pushed Tottenham down to fourth in the Premier League, just four points ahead of fierce rivals Arsenal, who have played one game less.

The defeat capped off a wretched run of results for the club after a late Steven Gerrard penalty gave Liverpool a 3-2 victory over Tottenham before an away 4-1 mauling by Inter Milan nearly knocked the side out of the Europa League - Tottenham scrapping through on away goals.

But despite the North London club's disposition for late season sides, Villas-Boas has moved to deflect the negativity surrounding his players, believing they have the ability to stop the poor run of results.

"We can't hide from what has happened in the past but must make sure we avoid it again," he told The Sun. "It's been a difficult month. But if we can find our form again, our confidence, our wins, then we can stop that cycle. We just have to carry on fighting and work hard.

"I'm confident we can do it. It's not a factor in the psychology of the players and the most important thing is we've enough games left to stop it happening and get out of this situation.

"This result didn't go our way, Inter Milan didn't, Liverpool didn't but there are still some positive things to hang on to and try and change the results.

"After our last two Premier League defeats in a row we went on a great run. I hope we can do the same again."

But Tottenham face a fight to break back into the Premier League's top three with both Chelsea and Arsenal securing vital victories.

And it's the club's North London rivals' return to form which worries the Portuguese the most, the Gunners beginning to surge back up the table thanks to a 2-0 victory over Swansea.

However, Villas-Boas has not given up his lofty ambitions for Tottenham, believing there is still a chance even second placed Manchester City can be caught by season's end.

"The top four has become a different situation over the last two weekends. Chelsea are back in third and Arsenal are still competing for the Champions League," Villas-Boas said.

"We've enough games to get to third hopefully or bring Manchester City closer to us but that'll be difficult.

"The margin with Arsenal is what you want to build on and we must get maximum points against Swansea and Everton. We couldn't get the result we wanted at Liverpool, now the situation has shifted and Arsenal are in with a chance.

"We can't escape that fact. After the international break we must get back to business and do our job against Swansea and Everton, try to collect six points and put us in a position where we can then play Manchester City at home with more confidence."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.