Villas-Boas: Reading win relieves pressure on anxious Spurs squad


Tottenham manager also dismisses the notion that he is already under strain

TOTTENHAM manager Andre Villas Boas admitted his side had been purged of their growing anxiety after earning their first Premier League win of the season away to a secondrate Reading.

Spurs had begun the season with a defeat and two draws but two goals from Jermain Defoe and one from Gareth Bale finally produced a positive result, albeit against a side with only a point to speak of, as Villas-Boas denied feeling any personal pressure and shrugged off predecessor Harry Redknapp's criticism of modern football managers.

"Hopefully this can be the buildup for the future." said Villas-Boas. "The team in the end performed so well they kicked out the anxiety.

"I talk to the chairman Daniel Levy every day. I didn't feel under any pressure at all."

Redknapp had spoken of the preference of coaches like Villas-Boas to produce substantial dossiers, saying that "bull**** baffles brains", but if it was a criticism of the Portuguese then it was one to which he was not prepared to rise.

"It is not about the manager, it is about the players. Different managers have different styles and the way they go about their business.

"I don't know if Harry [Redknapp] was mentioning that about Jose Mourinho but it seems strange. I don't use those situations but in the end the most important thing is for your team and your players to reach a level that is needed for success."

Reading were perhaps unfortunate in the 10th minute when Kyle Walker's handling of the ball in the Spurs penalty area went without punishment but the reality remains that their abject performance was the most significant influence in the resultant defeat.

As well as being weak in midfield, several defensive errors provided Spurs with several scoring chances which were ultimately wasted by poor finishing, though that was not an accusation that could be levelled at Defoe's 18th minute opener.

Former Royal Gylfi Sigurdsson produced a precise pass to send Aaron Lennon into space and when he crossed for Defoe, the in-form frontman shot under the diving Alex McCarthy for Spurs' first yet it took the best part of an hour for the second to follow.

Reading slightly improved after half-time and at 1-0 Spurs were always at risk of real regret at an array of missed chances. When Bale's scuffed finish from Walker's low cross 19 minutes from the end doubled their lead the result finally went beyond doubt, and when Defoe added a third their comfort was clear.

The striker took the ball from the halfway line to sprint beyond the home defence and shoot powerfully across the face of goal for the game's best finish, rendering Hal Robson Kanu's fine powerful strike a consolation.