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Sep 20, 2012

AVB pleased with Tottenham youngsters

zTottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas was pleased with his side's performance in their 0-0 draw with Lazio even though it meant his wait for a first win at White Hart Lane goes on.

•  Tottenham 0-0 Lazio

Spurs had three goals ruled out on the night but the efforts from Clint Dempsey, who was flagged offside, and Steven Caulker, who was penalised for a push, seemed to be harsh on the home side.

Alvaro Gonzalez hit the bar for Lazio but in the end both sides had to settle for a point in their opening Europa League group game.

"I think we did enough to get the win today,'' Villas-Boas told ITV4. "I am extremely happy with the performance and the effort that the players put in. You can't reprimand them for anything, they were outstanding.

"They managed to create enough opportunities to win the game. The team put the ball in the back of the net three times, but all the goals were disallowed by the ref, so it's a bit disappointing.

"It shows that we are on the right track to giving something back to the fans. We were superior against a team that is doing extremely well. We can be happy with that performance.''

Caulker, who has developed his skills during loan spells at Bristol City and Swansea, was trusted with the responsibility of marshalling the Spurs backline while youngsters Andros Townsend and Ryan Mason also acquitted themselves well against the likes of Miroslav Klose, Hernanes and Stefano Mauri.

And Villas-Boas is pleased to see a new generation coming to the fore, adding: "This club has always promoted young talent.

"We managed to give Andros a couple more minutes today, Caulker was outstanding at centre-half against one of the best strikers in the world. These players have been taught well in their education and it was great to see them.''

Dempsey was especially frustrated that his goal was ruled out, as replays appeared to show he was onside when Gareth Bale's cross came into the box.

He said: "I thought I was level with the line, it was a good ball from (Gareth) Bale and as it went in I thought I'd opened my account but it was waved offside.

"That's the way it goes sometimes, they defended well, set up to counter-attack and were tough to break down. But we had some chances and were unlucky not to get the goal tonight.''

Dempsey was a deadline-day capture from Tottenham's cross-city rivals Fulham, and despite being denied the chance to register a first goal, the American is pleased with the way things are going.

"It's good to be getting games,'' he added. "I'm trying to create chances or trying to get on the end of things, I can play in other positions. They were tough to break down, they set out to defend and played for the counter. We had some good chances and were unlucky not to get a goal.''

Defender Steven Caulker also had his goal ruled out for a perceived push on his marker. He added: "I thought it was a little harsh but I haven't seen the replay yet. I'm glad to keep a clean sheet and I think we'll go forward in the next game.

"They're one of the stronger sides in the group so we're pleased with the point. We set out to win but we'll rebuild and go again.''

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