Andre Villas-Boas may have been disappointed with Tottenham's 1-1 draw with Maribor in the Europa League but he was full of praise for Spanish midfielder Iago Falque.

The 22-year-old was brought on at half-time for the ineffective Andros Townsend and instantly made a difference as he had a hand in the equaliser that came less than 15 minutes after his introduction.

Iago Falque
Falque [background] had a hand in Sigurdsson's equaliser [foreground] against Maribor [Reuters]

Falque provided the cross that eventually found its way to Gylfi Sigurdsson to blast home after Jermain Defoe's shot was somehow saved by goalkeeper Jasmin Handanoviç.

The Spain Under-21 international has struggled to make an impact at Tottenham since arriving in the summer of 2011, initially on a season-long loan, but was signed on a permanent deal at the start of the year.

He was initially sent out on-loan to Southampton but he was only able to make one appearance after being at half-time on his debut and failing to force his way back into the side.

Falque did impress during pre-season and Villas-Boas was clearly pleased with the performance of the former Barcelona youth player as Tottenham struggled to carve out opportunities against Maribor.

"He had an extremely good game," Villas-Boas told the Daily Mail. "'He had his first game against Carlisle. This is his second game against stronger opposition this season. He did extremely well.

"His performance made the link-up player better for us. He is a certainly someone we can count on."

Tottenham have now drawn all three games in the Europa League and Villas-Boas was clearly unhappy with the performance of his Spurs side who played poorly in the first 45 minutes.

"The first half was poor in terms of possession," said Villas-Boas. "It is what we spoke about at the end of the Chelsea game. I think we committed the same mistakes.

"We kept on giving the ball away instead of being a little bit more calm and keeping the ball. The opponent was closing down the spaces well and we can't rush everything.

"We need to be a bit more patient in possession to find the right space to break through and I think we did it much better in the second half than the first half."