Stoke City: Potters praise from Spurs boss Villas Boas
SPURS boss Andre Villas Boas admitted his team had no answers to Stoke City's defensive display in Saturday's goalless draw at White Hart Lane.
The manager said he couldn't fault his team's efforts, but said Tony Pulis's side were just too difficult to break down as the Potters extended their unbeaten run to eight games.
Villas Boas said: "It was a difficult game. I want to be extremely positive because the players really tried hard. It wasn't ever going to be easy because Stoke are on an unbeaten run for a reason. They proved that once again today.
"They are extremely competitive, extremely physical and difficult to break down. They have good organisation and tremendous energy and power.
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"It was never easy for us. To our credit we had lots of chances, although maybe not clear cut.
"But we couldn't find the goal that would unlock them and bring them out. So as time increased it was ever more difficult to get the goal."
An even first half gave way to a more one-sided game as Spurs pushed forward after the break. However, Stoke only looked in trouble in the 90th-minute when Gylfi Sigurdsson's header was brilliantly saved by Asmir Begovic.
Villas Boas added: "It's not easy to break this team down. They don't score a lot, but they don't concede a lot. They are extremely competitive.
"We tried from mainly outside the box in our chances. They were never clear cut because they (Stoke) are very narrow. It is easier to defend rather than to be creative and attack.
"I think they were extremely good defensively."
After playing Stoke at the Britannia last season, Villas Boas became embroiled in controversy when he said Stoke's pushing and grabbing in the area was 'out of this world'.
At Saturday's press conference he was again asked about grappling at corners. He said: "Last year I was accused of saying something very stupid, but for me it is the reality.
"Credit to Stoke, they are an extremely competitive team and aggressive. Funnily enough a couple of attacking fouls against Stoke were given in our box for pushing and shoving, but none of them were given inside their box that could have given a penalty."