Villas-Boas applauds Terry focus

The Blues skipper learned on Wednesday he will be charged by the
Criminal Prosecution Service for alleged racist comments he made
towards Anton Ferdinand during the west London derby at QPR in
October. Despite getting a barracking from the home support
throughout Thursday night’s Premier League match at White Hart
Lane, the defender put in a solid display at the back and made a
crucial intervention to deny Emmanuel Adebayor’s goal-bound effort
at the death. Unmarked, the Tottenham striker latched on to Gareth
Bale’s ball just inside the box, but Terry flung himself at the
ball to avert what would have been a harsh defeat on the visitors
as the match ended 1-1. Villas-Boas has given his unequivocal
support to Terry, who has vowed to clear his name, ever since the
race row erupted two months ago. The Chelsea boss remained as such
on Thursday night, showering praise on the 31-year-old while
insisting he never had any doubts about putting him in the starting
XI in such a hostile atmosphere as a London derby. “His
performances, commitment and concentration have increased since the
incident and he anticipated the situation at the end there tonight.
It was a big opportunity for Tottenham,” Villas-Boas said. “His
quality and talent are never in doubt. He’s completely focused to
the cause of this football club.” Tottenham went in to the match as
favourites and looked set to run riot when they began at breakneck
speed, pushing Chelsea on the back foot before taking the lead
through Adebayor in the eighth minute. Daniel Sturridge got Chelsea
back in the game soon after and the visitors continued to threaten,
going close to winning the game through Ramires, who should have
buried a header when unmarked inside Tottenham’s box towards the
end of the second half. Villas-Boas’ men would have leapfrogged
Tottenham in to third with a win, but considering the hosts were on
a run of one defeat in their previous 13 games, the Portuguese was
pleased with his team’s display. He said: “The result really
doesn’t matter. The performance was outstanding. If a ball had gone
into our net in the last minute, I would have left satisfied. “We
didn’t lose two points. Coming here with Tottenham on the run
they’re on, with the form they’re showing in the league, to get a
point is excellent. “If you had said at the beginning of December
that we’d go through these games with two wins and two draws, I’d
have taken it running into the home fixtures. “Our second half was
brilliant. For us to impose ourselves as we did is extremely
gratifying.” Villas-Boas’ team sit 11 points behind Premier League
leaders Manchester City, but still thinks his team’s chances of
lifting the title are alive. “I think we can still win it,” the
former Porto boss said. “We came to Tottenham, a side who are title
challengers, so it’s a good point to get. We’ve been in worse
situations before and recovered to seven points. I’m sure we can
shorten the distance.” Villas-Boas’ delight was tempered slightly
by the news that Branislav Ivanovic and John Obi Mikel had to come
off with hamstring injuries and are now major doubts for the Boxing
Day clash against Fulham. Spurs now have injury worries of their
own too after Rafael van der Vaart came off with a hamstring injury
that is likely to keep him out for the festive period. Spurs boss
Harry Redknapp was disappointed to see his team lose momentum after
such a strong start. “We dominated that first 20 minutes or so,
then they scored against the run of play, but a point is a point,”
the 64-year-old said. “It got difficult in the second half. Rafa
did a hamstring again and we had no one to play on the right
comfortably. “I played Luka Modric there, and brought another
striker on, and they had the extra man in midfield, so they had
more possession and it was hard work for us.”