Premier League

Villas-Boas expects transfer funds

Andre Villas-Boas during Tottenham's 1-0 victory against Southampton.
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Andre Villas-Boas has been assured that he will have money to spend this summer - even if Tottenham do not qualify for the Champions League.

Despite their fortunate 1-0 win over Southampton on Saturday, Tottenham still have a lot of work to do to ensure that they qualify for Europe's premier club competition.

Tottenham lacked imagination in midfield against Southampton following the first-half withdrawal of Mousa Dembele, and they looked toothless up front until Gareth Bale scored a dramatic 86th-minute winner.

The performance led to talk among fans about the need for reinforcements this summer. Tottenham could do with a new striker and need to strengthen in midfield, while there is speculation that Villas-Boas is on the look-out for a new left-back.

And it seems the Portuguese has been told he will have money to spend this summer regardless of where Spurs finish.

Asked whether he would have different budgets depending on whether he achieved Champions League qualification, the Tottenham manager said: "No. At the moment our future must be analysed in only one direction.

"For us, the objective is always to improve the team and for that to happen either we have Champions League money to make it easier, or we have to invest and risk a bit more.

"But the objective is always to better what you did last season. We have to have one direction only."

Villas-Boas immediately turned his attention to Wednesday's crunch clash against Chelsea, and after his team's performance against Southampton, no one can blame him.

The Saints were the better side for most of the game and would have been 2-0 up at half time had it not been for Nathaniel Clyne's narrow miss, and the finger tips of Hugo Lloris, who saved well from Rickie Lambert's excellent free-kick.

Given that he was sacked after just nine months at the helm at Chelsea, Villas-Boas would be forgiven for wanting to settle an old score with his former employers on Wednesday night.

The Portuguese insists that is not the case, however.

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"I'm not sure (what it will be like to go back)," said Villas-Boas, who also worked at Chelsea as part of Jose Mourinho's backroom staff.

"I'm not sure if enough time has passed for me to feel anything. I was just another manager that passed by.

"Obviously I spent three great years there when I was on the staff but when I was given more responsibility I wasn't given enough time.

"I have great friends who I don't want to undermine by what I am saying and the players gave everything for me.

"It's fine because sometimes the only option is for a manager to go and I have discussed this at length.

"It would be excellent if we got the three points. At the moment it means absolutely nothing; it's just another opponent in our quest to try to get the nine points that we have to play for."

Bale stole the show once again yesterday to round off a remarkable week which saw him crowned PFA Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year, and FWA Footballer of the Year.

Southampton right-back Clyne, who did a good job of keeping the 23-year-old quiet, was in awe of the Welshman's late winner.

"I think he's in the same league as (Lionel) Messi and (Cristiano) Ronaldo," the England Under-21 full-back said.

"He's done really well this season and previous seasons as well, and in Europe as well.

"He's a player that can just get the ball and just pick it up and run with it and score. I personally rate him as being one of the world-class players."

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