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Friday 26 July 2013

BAT 2013: Villas-Boas ponders Spurs' tactical options

Spurs head coach mulls over various formations ahead of Third Place Play-off against South China

  • Spurs midfielder Mousa Dembele and head coach Villas-Boas at Friday's press conference

  • South China general manager Cheung describes Spurs as a 'world-class team'

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Andre Villas-Boas has said that he respects opponents South China as he targets a victory in his side's last match in the "wonderful" Barclays Asia Trophy.

"I think every club has to be ready for different types of formation"
Andre Villas-Boas

Spurs lost 3-1 to Sunderland in Wednesday's semi-final and are now preparing to face the Hong Kong champions, who restricted Manchester City to a narrow 1-0 victory in their last-four encounter.

Villas-Boas, who described the Barclays Asia Trophy as a "wonderful tournament", organised his team in a 4-4-2 formation against the Black Cats, and the Portuguese said it is "a possibility" the Lilywhites will take to the pitch in similar fashion for the Saturday's Third-Place Play-off, with a view to broadening his team's tactical options.

"We have played four friendlies up to now," said Villas-Boas. "This last one was the first we started using 4-4-2, which was the system that we played for most of the season last year. In all the years previously we played in 4-3-3, which we have been trying to do now for the first time. We played briefly last season against Wigan and Manchester City, but it’s simply to develop this season. I think every club has to be ready for different types of formation."

Jan Vertonghen and Gareth Bale will not take part in Hong Kong Stadium's precursor to the final. The Dutch defender will be "most likely out of training for two to three weeks," but those omissions do not ease the task faced by South China, according to their general manager Cheung Po Chun and defender Sean Tse.

City old boy Tse

"I already knew what the standard [against Manchester City] would be like, being in training with them every day and watching them," said Tse, who was formerly with Manchester City. "So I knew how hard the game was going to be and obviously the lads did as well by watching them.

"You have to remember that we are playing against a world-class team"
Cheung Po Chun

"Tottenham tomorrow is just going to be just as difficult, if not more difficult – like Manchester City, they are strong and fast. All we can do is just go out and give it our best again and hope for the best. I’d like to get Adebayor’s shirt tomorrow if that's possible."

Cheung is also under no allusions about the task his team face on home soil. He said: "You have to remember that we are playing against a world-class team. A good thing about the last game is that we were very disciplined, but in tomorrow's match I ask fans to really pay attention to see what kind of style we will be displaying."

South China are expected to set up in a more offensive formation against the North London side as Cheung strives bid to give home supporters a "great impression" of a Barclays Asia Trophy hosted in Hong Kong. The general manager said: "By beating Tottenham Hotspur, it would give all the fans a great memory of this year’s tournament."

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