| 9.3°C Dublin

Huddlestone pleads for patience from Spurs fans

TOM HUDDLESTONE has told Tottenham's disgruntled fans they must be more patient as the team are still adapting to the changes made by Andre Villas-Boas.

Tottenham were booed off the pitch twice at White Hart Lane on Saturday as they slumped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Wigan.

Although there have been occasional flashes of brilliance in Tottenham's game since Villas-Boas took over this summer, the Portuguese's more disciplined tactical approach means there have not been as many thrills and spills as there were under his predecessor Harry Redknapp.

Even though Huddlestone, one of the key players under Redknapp before he suffered an ankle injury, admits there is still work in progress at White Hart Lane, he feels the team have become a tougher unit under their new manager.

"We're probably harder to beat and maybe not as open (under Villas-Boas)," the Spurs midfielder said.

"He's come in and been very organised. The lads know what session we're going to do before we go out to train.

"A lot of it is on rigid team shape, whereas under previous regimes the initiative has been given to the players to express themselves.

"It is hard for the fans. They've watched some good football over the last three or four years, maybe in a gung-ho style. But they've just got to be patient. The manager's still getting his ideas across."

Villas-Boas will get a chance to appease the fans who jeered their side tonight when Spurs welcome Maribor to White Hart Lane.

Villas-Boas made the Europa League one of his priorities when he moved to White Hart Lane, but Spurs have only garnered three points from their opening three games.

With a tricky away game against Lazio next up, Villas-Boas knows his men must seize the opportunity to leapfrog Maribor into second place in Group J this evening.

"It is a game we have to win," the Spurs boss said. "We are in this competition to win it."