- Premier League
Villas-Boas bemoans 'negative' White Hart Lane crowd
Andre Villas-Boas has claimed Tottenham felt like the away side at White Hart Lane during the club's 1-0 win against Hull City due to the atmosphere created by the home fans.
Roberto Soldado's penalty was the difference between the two sides, with referee Michael Oliver awarding the controversial spot-kick after Jan Vertonghen's cross was adjudged to have been handled by Ahmed Elmohamady.
Up until the contentious penalty decision, the Tigers had managed to prevent Spurs from creating too much after setting up with a 5-4-1 formation.
Villas-Boas conceded that it was difficult for his side to break down a spirited Hull side, and that he felt the Spurs fans' reaction to the display had affected his players.
"It was very difficult to get into situations where we could create danger,'' he said. "Hull came with one objective which was to prevent us scoring the first goal. We tried hard and were persistent, it was different to the game against West Ham, we kept our cool today.
"We played in a very difficult atmosphere, very tense, very negative and we looked like the away team but we kept our cool. We had to dig deep within ourselves because we weren't getting help from anybody, the stadium reflected this atmosphere, very tense and without a lot of support until the first goal.''
Villas-Boas suggested the negativity played into the hands of the visiting team but insisted he was not trying to criticise the club's support.
"I'm particularly happy with the way the players fought hard against that anxiety and kept their cool to take the three points,'' he said. "I'm extremely happy with the crowd normally, fans for me represent the essence of football. The away support has been immense. Sometimes at home it is difficult and it looks like it drags the ball in to our goal rather than our opponent's goal.
"I don't intend with this message to send them a warning, neither do I intend to hurt their feelings but this is something that is felt within the group. It is a feeling that invades us in fixtures like this. You need that help. We are great believers in emotion and motivation and that is always decisive when you play at home.''
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