Andre Villas-Boas will escape the sack even if his side lose to Premier League champions Manchester United this weekend, according to former Tottenham Hotspur boss George Graham.

The 6-0 defeat to Manchester City last weekend, which leaves Spurs eight points behind leaders Arsenal, led to reports regarding Villas-Boas' future at White Hart with suggestions that a loss to United on Sunday could put him on the precipice.

But Graham, who served as Tottenham manager from 1998-2001 is confident Villas-Boas will be given a second life should they suffer defeat to United.

"If you sit back and look at it, their priority really is fourth spot and to get into Europe next season," Graham told talkSPORT.

"I don't think anybody expected them to win the Premier League this year and they are only a couple of points behind fourth spot at the present time. So, when people are saying the United game is a must-win, I don't agree with that.

"It is going to take time. Bringing in half a team at the same time, it is going to take time for those players to settle in, and that is the problem they have got.

"I think they will stick by AVB. If they can pick up some points over the Christmas period and are still in touch with that fourth position, I think they will stay with him."

Amid the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Tottenham spent in excess of £100m on signing seven new players while they broke their transfer record on three separate occasions.

But those new faces have failed to gel sufficiently with Tottenham scoring just nine league goals in 12 games while new signing Roberto Soldado has scored just once from open play this season.

In Villas-Boas' first season in charge, Tottenham relinquished a seven point lead over Arsenal in the final two months of the season in pursuit of a fourth Champions League place and having spent substantial funds in the off-season the Portuguese boss is under pressure to produce.