Premier League

Spurs will attack United - AVB

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Thu, 27 Sep 2012 17:56:00

Andre Villas-Boas will tell Tottenham to attack Manchester United on Saturday despite his chastening experience at Old Trafford last season.

Villas-Boas suffered his first loss in English football at Old Trafford when his Chelsea side went down 3-1 to Sir Alex Ferguson's men.

Chelsea blew a number of chances in the first half and paid the price by going into the interval 3-0 down before Fernando Torres missed an open goal after the break.

Such a collapse could discourage a manager from instructing his team to go on the offensive there again, but Villas-Boas is in a confident mood having won over a large part of the Spurs support by recording three wins in four matches.

"That is the way I like my teams to play," Villas-Boas said.

"We obviously know that it is extremely difficult there, but that doesn't mean that you might not be given a chance when you play that (attacking) way.

"In the end it's about taking your opportunities. Had (Chelsea) scored then maybe the result would have been different, so to try to get a result against United will be excellent for us."

Wednesday night's Capital One Cup victory in Carlisle may not end up being Villas-Boas' biggest accomplishment during his time at White Hart Lane, but it did ensure Spurs maintained the momentum that they have gathered in the last two weeks.

From being booed off against Norwich and West Brom, Spurs have picked up wins against Reading and QPR while they were very unlucky not to beat Lazio in the Europa League last week.

There is still plenty of work to be done with the squad, but Villas-Boas is so confident about his team's improvement that he has his sights set on nearing the top of the Premier League table by winning at Old Trafford for the first time since 1989.

"It would make us very proud to go there and get a win that would shorten the distance to the top," Villas-Boas said.

"That would hopefully help us profit in some way from the clash between Arsenal and Chelsea.

"We can't run away from our responsibilities. The statistics are there.

"We hope to break them one day and hopefully it will be on Saturday."

Wednesday night's game against League One opposition gave Villas-Boas the opportunity to blood some of the youngsters that were often overlooked by his predecessor.

Andros Townsend, 21, was the most impressive of the new crop on show at Brunton Park.

The winger, who was on loan at Leeds and Birmingham last season, ran half the length of the pitch before scoring his third goal for the club.

Villas-Boas, who has brought Townsend off the bench three times this season, was delighted with the England Under-21 player's performance in Cumbria.

"In the last couple of games that he has played he has made quite the difference in terms of his contribution to the team," Villas-Boas said.

"Obviously he is competing against the best players in the world with Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and Clint Dempsey so it's difficult, but if a player so young like this triumphs over players of this dimension then the future is his."

Ryan Mason and Adam Smith also started the game at Carlisle, and Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen was impressed with what he saw.

"The guys who played are real quality players, very skilful and with a good mentality," said Vertonghen, who signed from Ajax in the summer.

"I think that Ajax, for young players, is one of the best clubs in the world at which to develop, so I know good young players and we have them here at Tottenham.

"What I have seen here makes me think that all these players can eventually play for the first team."

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