AVB backed to succeed at Spurs
He may have only gathered one point from his first two games, but Benoit Assou-Ekotto is convinced Tottenham are heading in the right direction under Andre Villas-Boas because he is "like the son of Mourinho".
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Spurs conceded a stoppage-time equaliser against West Brom to prolong Villas-Boas' search for his first victory in charge of the north London club.
The 34-year-old is under pressure to restore his reputation in English football after being sacked at Chelsea in March, and his team's lack of ruthlessness in front of goal cost him yesterday.
The Portuguese said after the 1-1 draw that it was only a matter of time before Tottenham put together a winning streak, and Assou-Ekotto thinks Spurs fans should have faith in their manager as he used to work under multiple champion Jose Mourinho.
Assou-Ekotto has revealed Villas-Boas, who worked with his countryman at Chelsea and Inter Milan, has brought in a deeper emphasis on tactical training - something many thought was lacking under former boss Harry Redknapp - and is certain the new man at the helm will succeed.
"He's cool," Assou-Ekotto said. "He has a different way to work, so we learn different things from him.
"He's like the son of Mourinho because he used to work with him and he works in the same style. We do a little more tactics at training.
"If we work more about tactics we can win and we will enjoy (our football)."
Jermain Defoe, Rafael van der Vaart, Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon all spurned chances for the home side on Saturday.
Bizarrely for a man who has scored four goals in six years at the club, Assou-Ekotto turned out to be the deadliest threat to the visitors.
The Cameroon defender drew a world-class save from Ben Foster with a free-kick just after the break and then opened the scoring for the hosts with a powerful half-volley that flew in off Gareth McAuley.
A late onslaught from the Baggies caused Tottenham to buckle, however, and James Morrison swept home from inside a packed box to steal a point for Steve Clarke's men.
Assou-Ekotto is not panicking about his team's faltering start, though.
"We didn't do enough to win, but it's only a matter of small details," the left-back said. "If we fix these details, we will be perfect for the next game."
There is a feeling Villas-Boas will be more content when he finalises the make-up of his squad by the end of the week.
Renowned for doing last-minute deals, the club's chairman Daniel Levy will be busy trying to seal agreements for the likes of Willian and possibly Leandro Damiao while also aiming to complete the sale of Luka Modric to Real Madrid.
"The market can be frenetic in the last few days so anything can happen," Villas-Boas said.
"We are still looking to strengthen our squad with a midfielder so let's do the deals that we have to do."
One person tipped to leave White Hart Lane is Michael Dawson. Some Spurs fans made their opposition to Villas-Boas' decision to make his captain available for transfer clear yesterday when they sang the England defender's name even though he did not make the bench.
Villas-Boas now appears happy for the former Nottingham Forest man to remain at the club.
"At the moment Michael is our player and we are happy to have him," Villas-Boas said.
Clarke, meanwhile, has now racked up four points from two tricky games against Liverpool and Spurs.
The Scot, in his first senior position in management, made an inspired substitution to bring on Romelu Lukaku yesterday to target the tiring William Gallas, and the rest of his team were well drilled and threatening on the counter.
The former Chelsea assistant could have not wished for a much better start to the campaign.
"It is a good start," Clarke said. "It gives the players confidence. I had enough confidence in them anyway, but it certainly gives me confidence in the group.
"It wasn't an easy to start (to the season) for us. A lot of people would have looked at it and thought West Brom might struggle a bit, but I have a really good experienced bunch of players."