Spurs boss prepared to promote development players as injuries continue to bite
Andre Villas-Boas says he is prepared to put his faith in Tottenham’s young stars to bolster his injury-ravaged squad.
Spurs have won just one and lost three of their last five games since the international break, beating basement boys Southampton and drawing 1-1 with Maribor in Slovenia while suffering reverses against Chelsea, Norwich and Wigan.
The growing lost of absentees has certainly not helped. Mousa Dembele recently joined Younes Kaboul, Scott Parker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto in the treatment room, while Jake Livermore suffered an ankle injury at Norwich last Wednesday and Sandro was withdrawn during the first half against Wigan.
However, 20-year-old Tom Carroll has played in Spurs’ last two games, and Villas-Boas has hinted that he may also turn to 21-year-old Ryan Mason as Spurs’ hectic fixture schedule continues.
“We are going past an important period in terms of the availability of our players,” said the head coach. “We have a couple of injuries which we have to take into account, but we have good development team players coming through.
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“Tom Carroll had an amazing game against Norwich [in the Capital One Cup] so he’s another further option. Mason has returned from injury too, so we will count on their work as well.
“We have picked up long-term and medium-term injuries to people who were extremely influential in the past. We don’t have enough in depth in the squad to keep us rotating and to keep us fresh all the time.
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“The players that are working with us are on a run of games that is massive for them in terms of the effort they put in, but they have been doing extremely well and what we can look forward to is the recovery of these players from injury. That can be an addition in terms of further options and quality.”
Meanwhile, Villas-Boas will continue to monitor the progress of 21-year-old right-back Adam Smith, who joined Millwall on loan last week.
“We’re going to keep an eye on him,” said the Tottenham boss. “It was important for Adam to go out, he didn’t have the opportunities that he maybe expected.
“He competes against the best – [Kyle] Walker and also [Kyle] Naughton are more experienced than him. It’s good for him to have this period on loan, hopefully with a view to bringing him back.
“He made it to the [England] Under-21 squad recently, so that’s a good, positive sign for him and hopefully he’ll get more playing time onboard and then we’ll see what happens.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs