Europa League: Villas-Boas tips goal-shy Soldado to rediscover his shooting boots


TOTTENHAM boss Andre Villas-Boas has backed out-of-form striker Roberto Soldado to soon justify his £26m price tag.

The 28-year-old endured a goalless 90 minutes in the Arctic Circle last night, but Spurs cemented top spot in Group K thanks to an own goal and a first strike of the season from midfielder Mousa Dembele.

Soldado, one of only two survivors from the team thumped 6-0 by Manchester City last weekend, has scored just twice in his last 11 appearances, but Villas-Boas feels it is simply a matter of time before the Spain striker finds his form.

“A striker needs a goal and he couldn’t finish any of the situations, but generally good movement. I think he needs just one goal,” said Villas-Boas, “It can happen to any striker, they live off the confidence of goals. At the moment it is not happening for him but he is trying.”

Spurs took the lead on 63 minutes when Gylfi Sigurdsson slid a low free-kick across the box and defender Adnan Causevic inadvertently turned the ball into his own net under pressure from Vlad Chiriches.

And the points were sealed on 75 minutes with Sigurdsson provided the pass for Dembele to stroke home. The Belgium midfielder hit the post two minutes later, but the result was already assured.

“I am very happy for the players to have bounced back from the defeat against Man City,” Villas-Boas added.

“Obviously the opponent we have on Sunday [Manchester United] is the biggest that we can have.

“But to prepare for that game, it was important to get back to winning ways and we did it in a fashion where we looked solid and created lots of chances. I am extremely happy with the performance and result.”