December 12 2013 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Andre Villas-Boas has revealed that he intended to withdraw the “extraordinary” Younes Kaboul after an hour last night – but the Frenchman was forced to play on for the full 120 minutes.
Kaboul has been hampered by injuries for the last 18 months, only making one appearance in the whole of the 2012/13 campaign and also struggling to stay fit this term.
The 27-year-old had made four starts prior to last night’s Capital One Cup tie but had only completed two of those games, having limped off early against both Tromso and Anzhi in the Europa League.
The centre-back returned to the starting line-up to face Hull yesterday evening, and Villas-Boas was going to withdraw him after 60 minutes.
However, an injury to substitute Nacer Chadli forced Villas-Boas to replace the Belgian with his third and final substitution instead – and Kaboul played all the way through to a penalty shoot-out, while converting his own spot-kick, as Tottenham secured a place in the quarter-finals.
“Kaboul was extraordinary, we have to single him out,” said Villas-Boas. “We planned to take him off in the 60th minute. He was giving me signs that he had to come off in the 63rd minute and that’s when Chadli was injured, and he gave the thumbs up to continue.
“That is good because he made 120 minutes, and that is good for the medical department. I think we’ve finally buried his recurrent injuries as soon as he comes back in to play. We will be careful with his recovery from now on, but I’m sure we will have him back very, very soon.”
Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a stunning opening last night, but a Brad Friedel howler allowed Hull to equalise in the second half of the 90 and send the tie to extra-time.
City went on to take the lead as Paul McShane headed home from a corner, but Spurs substitute Harry Kane levelled the scores again to set up the shoot-out.
Erik Lamela missed from the spot but Friedel saved from Aaron McLean and Ahmed Elmohamady to secure an 8-7 victory on penalties – and Villas-Boas feels his side deserved to progress.
“We had a very good first half - not lots of penetration but we had great one-touch football and combinations, which was very pleasing on the eye,” said the head coach.
“In the end Hull did extremely well to come back into the game. They completely changed their formation and had a go at us, which enabled them to score those two goals because of the amount of opportunities they created. The game really opened up - it was a great, entertaining game.
“We created plenty of chances in the first half and they did the same in the second half. I think we deserved to go through.
“Hull had great games against Manchester City and Chelsea. They are not 11th because of luck, it’s because of great team spirit, work ethic and organisation.
“It wasn’t easy for us. They gave us two difficult games in a week but I think we were the team that deserved to win both games.”
Tottenham’s reward for their cup victory over Hull is a quarter-final tie at home against West Ham – and a chance to avenge the recent 3-0 defeat at the Lane in the Premier League.
“We can use that as motivation but they will use that experience from having played that game so brilliantly and exposed us,” said Villas-Boas. “I don’t think the next game will be like that one. We aren’t that bad and I’m sure the team will give a response.
“We have the ability to rotate so much, our starting XI showed that. We have the quality in our squad to continue to progress, so hopefully we can do that against West Ham.”
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