TOTTENHAM manager Andre Villas-Boas insists the loss to injury of summer signing Mousa Dembele is not to blame for their recent slump in form.
Former Fulham star Dembele helped Spurs string together four success Premier League wins before aggravating a hip problem while on duty with Belgium.
Since then they have lost three and drawn one from five games, but Villas-Boas played down the midfielder’s absence ahead of tonight’s Europa League visit of Maribor.
“We had good games without Mousa,” said the Portuguese.
“Against Chelsea we lost Gareth Bale and Mousa and we gave them a run for their money even though they were on an amazing run.
“Good players are missed but this squad is full of good players. I don’t think it has affected the tempo and dynamic – it’s more important to have players fully concentrated.”
Villas-Boas has decided against sending Dembele for an operation, in the hope that physiotherapy will heal the 25-year-old in time for next week’s derby at Arsenal.