AVB keen to avoid Reading slip

  • Last Updated: December 31 2012, 15:19 GMT

Andre Villas-Boas has told his Tottenham players it would be "silly" for them to let their standards slip when they host Reading on Tuesday.

Andre Villas-Boas: Wants winning end to 2012
Andre Villas-Boas: Wants winning end to 2012

Spurs can cap a near-perfect festive period with a New Year's Day victory at White Hart Lane after ending 2012 with seven Premier League points from nine.

The only blip was another disappointing home result, a goalless draw with Stoke that preceded victories at Aston Villa and Sunderland.

That was also one of only two occasions Tottenham have failed to win in their final nine matches of the year in all competitions, their best run of results since Villas-Boas took charge in the summer.

Spurs will be expected to brush aside a Reading team they beat comfortably in September's reverse fixture, but their patchy home form this season suggests victory cannot be taken for granted.

"The problem with that fixture is that we have done extremely well away from home, but we have to keep up the momentum," Villas-Boas said.

"We have to keep our home form going and it would be silly for us not to continue at this level, so it is a fixture in which we really want to get the three points to close finally the festive fixtures with three wins, hopefully, and one draw."

Villas-Boas hailed his players as "magnificent" over the past month.

He added: "They have been excellent. The December that we had shows exactly that.

"We had big, big results against difficult teams and the Europa League in between.

"If we manage to take this form into January, it would be excellent."

Spurs will be without talismanic winger Gareth Bale tomorrow following his latest controversial yellow card for diving, something which took him over the suspension threshold.

But Bale's partner in crime on the opposite flank, Aaron Lennon, showed at Sunderland on Saturday it was not only the Welshman who could deliver stunning solo goals.

Villas-Boas claimed Lennon's winner was exactly the reason the 25-year-old had been given a new four-year contract earlier this season.

"It was a beautiful goal," Villas-Boas told Spurs TV Online.

"It was a moment of magic from Lennon, a player who is a credit.

"This season, he's showing that he's on another level.

"He signed his contract with us, he's committed and always gives everything for the team. It was a great goal, great inspiration."

Defender Michael Dawson added: "I'd like to see Lennon get a lot more goals because he deserves it, the work he puts in for the team and the quality he brings and the assists he gets.

"So, it was nice to see him get on the scoresheet.

"He deserved that over recent weeks because I think he's been fantastic, without the goals to show for it.

"But he's certainly got plenty of assists.

"He's been great all season."

Tottenham ended 2012 in the top four and will temporarily climb back up to third with another win.

Midfielder Sandro has claimed they could even challenge for the title and Villas-Boas was also confident of better to come, with the likes of Scott Parker, Mousa Dembele and Benoit Assou-Ekotto returning to full fitness.

"They are big, big players," Villas-Boas said, admitting Tuesday's game would probably come too soon for Assou-Ekotto.

"Younes Kaboul is, too, to return, so we have big players coming back, players who were influential for the team last season, and this can be a big, massive boost for us."

A fully fit squad could convince Villas-Boas to allow some of his fringe men to leave in January.

Reports on Monday suggested goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini was close to completing a move to the Los Angeles Galaxy when the transfer window reopens.


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