Gylfi Sigurdsson has warned Manchester United that Tottenham will be fired up and determined to revive their flagging season when the two heavyweights clash at White Hart Lane tomorrow.
Tottenham landed in London yesterday morning having eased the pressure on their manager slightly with a 2-0 Europa League victory over Tromso in bitterly cold conditions.
But given that Spurs lost their last two league games – the most recent one being a 6-0 hammering at Manchester City – Villas-Boas has no time to rest and he will be well prepared for the visit of a United team buoyed by a 5-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in midweek.
Although there were positives to glean from Tottenham's display in the northern reaches of Scandinavia, the reality is that David Moyes' squad is streets ahead of what they came up against at the Alfheim Stadium.
Still, the motivation within the Spurs squad remains strong after last weekend's humiliation at the Etihad Stadium.
"We were unhappy with what we did last Sunday," Sigurdsson said.
"We have talked a lot about what happened, but that is in the past now.
"We need to get a good reaction from the squad. I am sure we will be fired up against Manchester United and we are determined to get the three points.
"We beat them at Old Trafford and drew with them at home and that can only be a positive thing for us. They are the team everyone wants to beat."
Roberto Soldado failed to test the Tromso goalkeeper during Thursday's win, which guaranteed Spurs top spot in Europa League Group K with one game to spare.
But the fact that Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor were left in London suggests Villas-Boas could field his old strike partnership up front for the first time this season tomorrow.
Only Sunderland and Crystal Palace have worse scoring records in the division so far this season and Sigurdsson acknowledges Spurs' top-four hopes will suffer unless they address their failings in front of goal.
"Our target is to finish in the top four. We are four points off second place now, so there is no need to worry yet, even though we need to score more goals," he said.