AVB allays Friedel fears
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas insists Brad Friedel still has a big part to play this season despite dropping the American for Sunday's 2-0 win over Aston Villa.
Villas-Boas made the shock decision to drop Friedel and hand Hugo Lloris his Barclays Premier League debut, thus ending the 41-year-old's record of 310 consecutive top-flight starts.
But when asked if Lloris was now his number one, the manager replied: "No. We spoke among the staff this week about it and we thought it was logical to let Hugo come into a Premier League game because he can't just play in the Europa League. Brad obviously was disappointed with the decision but accepted it like the good professional he is."
Spurs moved back up to fifth in the table with the win and Villas-Boas now has his sights set on ending Chelsea's unbeaten run in his next game.
The former Porto boss said: "The ambition to be among the top teams we have is immense and it gives us a good opportunity (against Chelsea).
"It's obviously going to be a difficult game but we are showing good levels of competence and we hope to profit from the fact that we play at home, and profit from the fact that we play an unbeaten league leader. That will help on our motivation to try to beat them."
Villa manager Paul Lambert felt Christian Benteke's miss proved crucial in the defeat, which saw the visitors drop to 16th in the table.
The striker, signed from Genk this summer, missed a free header from Gabriel Agbonlahor's cross early in the second half after Villa intercepted Lloris' mis-directed throw.
"That was a big moment," Lambert said.
"When you have chances like that at a place like this you have to put them away."