Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas has insisted credit for Spurs' 2-1 comeback win against QPR should go to his players rather than his tactical decisions.
The White Hart Lane club went into the halftime break trailing to a Bobby Zamora goal for the Hoops but turned the match on its head in the second. AVB shuffled his pack well, pushing new signing Clint Dempsey forward to support striker Jermain Defoe and Welshman Gareth Bale pushing up on the left flank. The switch proved to be a good one, with the home side turning up the pressure on the visitors and forcing two goals in two minutes - the first an own-goal by Argentine defender Alejandro Faurlin and the second by Defoe.
"We had to do something to look sharper and more attacking, we didn't create a lot in the first half and we felt going with two strikers was the best for us at that period. We considered keeping the shape and formation and just press hard but in the end we changed it," AVB explained after the game.
"Gareth Bale played better as a left winger than as a left back, it is the position where he feels most comfortable at the minute and he really made a difference. The players really wanted to win this game for our fans, it is more that will than the tactical change that won the game," the former Chelsea boss added.
AVB: Friedel is Still No 1
Meanwhile, amid the euphoria of the win, AVB is aware he still has to deal with a goalkeeping stand-off at the Lane, between present No 1 Brad Friedel and summer signing Hugo Lloris. The Portuguese manager, who signed Lloris (the captain of the French national team) from Olympique Lyon in the summer, has repeatedly stated the 25 year old will be back-up for Friedel until further notice.
In fact, Lloris only made his debut for the club recently, in the mid-week goalless draw against Lazio in a UEFA Europa League group stage match. AVB has admitted, however, he is impressed with Lloris' work ethic and professionalism but comments like the above and those made earlier in the summer are likely only to worsen relations between the two. Friedel returned to his position for the league game, after sitting out the visit of Lazio.
"We've made Hugo alert that whenever Brad has a bad game we won't pull a change. These things need to be taken very carefully, but we don't bow to Hugo's dimension and talent. At the moment we are paying respect for a player who is performing very well and at the right time, we will think about it," ESPN quoted Villas-Boas as saying.
Lloris has responded professionally, at least publically, by confirming he will prove himself at his new club. However, he will also have to consider that a lack of playing time will jeopardise his position in the national team. France manager Didier Deschamps has already commented on the situation, as has former Manchester United goalkeeper Fabien Barthez.