Belfast Telegraph

Villas-Boas thrilled with Eriksen impact

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas was delighted with the instant impact of new signing Christian Eriksen in his side's 2-0 Barclays Premier League win over Norwich.

A Gylfi Sigurdsson brace ensured Spurs secured three points at White Hart Lane on an afternoon when they were rarely troubled by the shot-shy visitors.

But it was the debut of 21-year-old Eriksen, signed from Ajax late in the transfer window, that impressed Villas-Boas.

"It was a great debut for Christian," he said.

"He used all of his experience between the lines and his movement was fantastic. He bonded very easily and his individual quality made the difference.

"These are qualities we look for. Most of our signings have it - mental qualities to fight for places and the ability to understand the game. For Eriksen's age, he is quite impressive.

"He has played a lot of Champions League games and obviously now the Premier League is about how consistent you can be.

"When you have individual quality, you can jump into the team right away. With performances and results like this, we can bond like a team."

After losing to rivals Arsenal before the international break, Spurs had waited almost two weeks to make amends for their below-par performance at the Emirates.

Norwich held Spurs to draws in both Premier League encounters last season and also knocked Villas-Boas' side out of the Capital One Cup, something the Portuguese used as encouragement for his team this time around.

"It was a very good performance," he added.

"It is always difficult to play these type of fixtures after the international break so to do so with so many levels of quality was very impressive.

"We had the motivation against this team after drawing against them in both matches last season and being knocked out of the League Cup by them.

"We had lots of problems against Norwich last season so this type of performance is inspiring. It is difficult to keep that level of performance but it will give us motivation."

Norwich manager Chris Hughton was quick to admit that the Canaries had come up against a strong Tottenham side but felt his players did well to stay in the game for so long.

"We have no complaints today," he said.

"We were beaten by a very, very good side. We needed to show more and we needed to have periods of possession on the ball and we didn't do that well enough.

"If we are giving Tottenham the amount of possession we have they can hurt you. But, credit to us, we had to defend very well and over 90 minutes we did that.

"I think the second goal was a scrappy goal and at 1-0 we were still in the game, we didn't deserve it but we were still in it."

Norwich have now lost both league games away from home so far this season and Hughton wants his side to bounce back when they welcome Aston Villa to Carrow Road next Saturday.

"We need to respond next Saturday," he added.

"At the moment we are all hurting, it is a bad weekend for us. You don't sleep too much and it is normal stuff.

"That is the nature of our game but what we will do is close this game down and over the next day or so we will go over the video and see where we can improve."


From Belfast Telegraph