• Premier League

Villas-Boas plays down injury concerns

ESPN staff
September 20, 2013
AVB Pleased with Tromso victory

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has played down the string of injuries his side suffered during Thursday's 3-0 Europa League win over Tromso, insisting there will only be minor setbacks.

Danny Rose, Mousa Dembele and Younes Kaboul were all substituted during Spurs' opening European match through injury, raising a potential selection headache for Villas-Boas ahead of Sunday's trip to Cardiff.

Rose appears to have suffered the most serious knock of the three, with the 23-year-old likely to to be sidelined this weekend, but Villas-Boas is confident Dembele - who was carried off on a stretcher - and Kaboul - who sustained an adductor problem - will recover quickly.

"Dembele should be okay," Villas-Boas said. "He felt a lot of pain when he was brought down, but now he's steady. Younes felt muscle tightness in his adductor and we decided to take him off. He was struggling but he didn't rupture anything.

"We have to be a little bit more careful with Danny Rose. We hope it's not serious. We have to give him one night to see the reaction of his ankle. He is in doubt for Sunday but he should be okay."

Jermain Defoe earned a start ahead of Roberto Soldado and put himself in the frame for the Cardiff clash with a first-half brace.

The England international was pleased with his performance and insists the competition for a first team place is spurring him on.

"When you get an opportunity you've got to take it - it's as simple as that," he told ITV4. "The performance was good tonight - we've won the game quite comfortably. It's a case of working hard for the team, to win the game. There's a good spirit there and the new lads have been brilliant."

Villas-Boas heaped praise on Defoe and insists his current formation is proving effective.

"JD is doing well," Villas-Boas added. "He and Soldado are competing and all of their performances have been excellent. There is not one single thing I can negative about the performances of Soldado and JD.

"At the moment we are playing with one striker up front and a number 10. We've scored 15 goals in seven games and conceded one, which are good numbers for us so we haven't yet seen a reason to change to 4-4-2. But that is definitely an option for the future."

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