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AVB hits out at media over 'agenda'

ESPN staff
December 1, 2013 « Giggs can play until he's 43 - Scholes | Chartbeat test »
Andre Villas-Boas hit out at the Daily Mail and Lord Sugar © Getty Images
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Andre Villas-Boas has responded angrily to claims that he could be set to lose his job as Tottenham head coach, hitting out at the Daily Mail and Lord Sugar over a perceived "agenda" against him.

Newspaper reports on Sunday morning speculated on who would replace the former Chelsea boss at White Hart Lane, with Guus Hiddink, Fabio Capello and Gus Poyet among those mentioned.

A 6-0 Premier League defeat to Manchester City last weekend increased speculation around the future of Villas-Boas, and he had a fan ejected from Spurs' 2-0 Europa League win at Tromso on Thursday for chanting that he would be sacked.

But following Sunday's 2-2 draw against Manchester United, in which Tottenham led twice, Villas-Boas thanked his players for their efforts and hit out at the media's treatment of him, rounding on Daily Mail journalists Martin Samuel and Neil Ashton.

"The pressure that surrounded us this week was aggressive and agenda-driven," he said.

"A couple of people insult my integrity, my human values, my professionalism and one of these people is sitting over here.

"It insults the success that I have achieved in other clubs and I don't think it's fair. I think it's a lack of respect and an attack on a person's integrity.

"I don't want to undermine other managers. You can easily compare situations. We have sat above Man City before and above Man United before and we haven't seen any kind of these personal attacks to somebody so I think that is unfair.

"I am very fortunate to have a great group of players that responded in this fashion to show the unity of the team. We wanted to win to move above United and keep close to the top of the table, but a draw was not a bad result.

"But due to fact that we took a heavy defeat against City, this was a great response from players. They played with no fear and great desire. Our performance showed the unity that surrounds us.

"For a team that has not won a trophy since 2008, we sit with the possibility of going into the semi-finals of the league cup, and we have qualified for the next stage of the Europa League with 15 points from our group. To have that kind of driven agenda is not correct in my opinion."

Following the draw against United, Tottenham lie ninth in the Premier League, 10 points behind league leaders Arsenal but only three outside the Champions League qualification spots.

And Villas-Boas conceded that the fierce ambition to succeed at White Hart Lane means there is pressure to produce good results, also blasting former Tottenham chairman Lord Sugar who had called him "useless" on Twitter.

"I think it's because of the interest and the expectations that Tottenham have," he told BBC Radio 5 Live. "It's natural. I think it's a very, very driven agenda by somebody that doesn't honour the club, nor myself or my players.

"It's their [the Tottenham fans'] team, their passion and they don't trade it for anything else, not like Alan Sugar who trades it for money."

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