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AVB expects Magpies to come out and play at Lane


BATTLE: Andre Villas-Boas

BATTLE: Andre Villas-Boas

BATTLE: Andre Villas-Boas

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas believes his players are starting to come to terms with teams shutting up shop at White Hart Lane, but feels Newcastle will travel to north London looking to play on Sunday.

Thursday's Europa League group game at home to Sheriff Tiraspol was another example of a visiting team looking to defend from the back and make it difficult for Tottenham's attacking talent to break them down.

Spurs have started to show signs in recent weeks that they possess the ability to break down the most rigid defence as they look to challenge for honours following a summer of heavy investment in the squad.

Erik Lamela opened the scoring after an hour and Jermain Defoe smashed home a penalty to move clear of Martin Chivers as the club's all-time top goalscorer in European competition as Spurs booked their place in the Europa League knockout stages with a 2-1 win.

Hull also ran Spurs close two weeks ago with a contentious Roberto Soldado spot-kick proving the difference, and Villas-Boas expects his players to become even more adept at facing the new challenge in the coming weeks.


"It hasn't been easy for us to try and break in behind, but we will persist as this is the way we want to move forward," he said.

"Hopefully we can one day manage to do more combinations that will lead to more goals being created.

"It is very, very difficult for a team to hold on defensively due to the amount of time we have the ball.

"They have to make a great physical effort that eventually you manage to get in. It is not easy to find the spaces, you need people to start taking on opponents to start unlocking them," added Villas-Boas.

"We need to take risks, unlocking defences is probably a part of our game where we have to work.

"I'm not sure what their strategy will be, Newcastle have a great team full of gifted, technical players so I expect them to play against us.

"Alan (Pardew) is a manager who prepares well for the games so it won't be easy for us."