Premier League: Spurs bite back as Meulensteen’s Fulham tenure begins in defeat


TOTTENHAM are back on track, according to manager Andre Villas-Boas, after they came from behind at Craven Cottage to earn a first league win in five matches.

Ashkan Dejagah fired Fulham ahead in Rene Meulensteen’s first match in charge, but late long-range efforts from Vlad Chiriches and Lewis Holtby moved Spurs up to sixth in the Premier League table.

And Villas-Boas, who has come under fire as low-scoring Spurs have struggled for points, hopes this victory signifies an end to a testing few weeks.

“We’ve been waiting for this win,” he said. “It was important to conclude the job after the win against Tromso and draw with Man United.

“It gives us that winning feeling finally and puts us back on track. It’s another away win, which is important for confidence and positiveness and keeps us connected in the challenge for Champions League places.”

Meanwhile, Meulensteen felt hard done by as his side failed to mark the start of his tenure with a positive result and also dismissed the notion striker Dimitar Berbatov wants to leave the club in January.

“I’m bitterly disappointed because we were playing so well and working so hard,” he said. “Coming away with nothing is hard to take.

“If you look at the way Berbatov played you can’t tell me he doesn’t want to play for this club. And believe me if Dimitar Berbatov plays at this sort of level he is in the top three players in the Premier League.”

Dejagah rifled in Berbatov’s delightful crossfield pass shortly after half-time, but Spurs levelled when defender Chiriches volleyed in his first for the club from 30 yards.

And the comeback was completed when Holtby smashed in his first Premier League goal from 25 yards.