Belfast Telegraph

Villas-Boas unfazed by slow Spurs start

Andre Villas-Boas insists he is not panicking about Tottenham's season despite seeing his team concede an injury-time equaliser to draw 1-1 with West Brom.

Tottenham dominated the first half but Jermain Defoe, Rafael van der Vaart, Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale all spurned good chances. Their profligacy looked as if it was going to go unpunished when Benoit Assou-Ekotto smashed home a half-volley 16 minutes from full-time, but James Morrison snatched a point for West Brom in injury time.

Villas-Boas said: "It is very, very important to get that first win but there are still 36 games ahead of us. We have one more point than we did this time last year."

He added: "The players have been excellent. They have been receptive and there is a good feeling about what we are doing. We are just waiting for the results to accompany us a little bit more."

Spurs were on top throughout the first half, but the only difficult save Ben Foster had to make before Spurs opened the scoring was from a Assou-Ekotto free-kick just after the break.

Emmanuel Adebayor caused problems when he came off the bench in the second half, but Villas-Boas admits his team as a whole must be sharper in front of goal next week when they welcome Norwich to White Hart Lane.

"We have been working well during the week, trying to prepare and get the result," Villas-Boas added. "Now we just have to be a bit more aggressive in front of goal. We have to finish the chances we have."

West Brom manager Steve Clarke inspired an improved performance from his team in the second half after giving his side a rollicking at the break, and he also made a key impact on the game by bringing on Romelu Lukaku for Shane Long on the hour.

Clarke said: "It's great that you can look to your bench and see people who can change a game and Romelu is one of them. He did a good job for me, but so did Shane Long. He had the hardest part of the game."

Speaking of Morrison, he added: "We weren't sure whether he would continue. It did cross my mind to bring him off a couple of times, but you have to leave someone like James on the pitch because if you leave him on he can pop up with a goal and he did that."

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