Mind the gap: AVB urges his team not to blow it again

Julian Harris
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TOTTENHAM boss Andre Villas-Boas has called on his players to cement their position in the top four of the Premier League, after seeing off a stubborn Swansea side at White Hart Lane yesterday.

Tottenham blew a 10 point lead over fierce rivals Arsenal last season, and with a Jan Vertonghen goal giving his team their ninth win of this league campaign Villas-Boas is mindful of letting another gap slip.

“A margin of seven, nine points in the Premier League means nothing so we have to be very, very aware,” he said after the game. “From third to tenth [place] is very tight. For us it’s important to break out from this pack and join the top but understanding that it’s not going to be easy.”

The visitors, who had won three of their last five league trips to London, started well, yet the best chances soon fell to Spurs. On 13 minutes Michu atoned for an error by making a diving block to stop Jermain Defoe from scoring, after the Spaniard had been caught on the ball by Mousa Dembele.

Shortly before half time Kyle Walker let rip an 87mph piledriver from 25 yards, which was only prevented from going in by smacking the unsuspecting Swans goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel on the shoulder.

Spurs continued to press after the break and their approach paid off with 15 minutes of normal time to go. Ex Spurs winger Wayne Routledge fouled Andros Townsend on the right and the resultant free kick was turned in via Vertonghen, despite suspicions that he may have been offside.

And they could have had a second in stoppage time when Townsend broke free while Michu lay on the ground after colliding with Hugo Lloris. Referee Mike Dean’s decision not to stop the game infuriated Swansea.

Spurs now lead Arsenal, who travel to Reading tonight, by five points ­– but remain only two points above Everton and West Brom.