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Roma's chance to bounce back

AS Roma

Spurs goalkeeper saga to continue

Andre Villas-Boas has stated that he has not yet made a decision about his goalkeeper for Tottenham's match against Chelsea this weekend, but surprisingly hinted that Brad Friedel may return to the starting line-up.

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After the issue dominated Spurs' early-season fixtures, Villas-Boas had appeared to settle it by finally making Lloris his first choice for the 2-0 home win over Aston Villa. On Thursday, though, the Tottenham boss said it was still open.

"They compete for a position," the Tottenham manager said. "In the end, we have made Brad the number one for the beginning of the season and we still see Brad as number one, a player who has been tremendous in goal for us. We respect that. Hugo has been tremendous for us in exactly the same manner. It is obviously a decision I have to take, which I will take tomorrow and in the future.

"Certainly, Brad has been tremendous, we respect that, he is looking in form, as Hugo is. He has done brilliantly this week for France [in the 1-1 draw away to Spain]. So competition will continue between the two. The decision will be left before the game."

Villas-Boas also spoke of Friedel's disappointment when the American learned his remarkable eight-year run of consecutive Premier League starts was to come to an end three weeks ago.

"We spoke about it before," Villas-Boas added. "In the end, it was difficult for him, not because of the consecutive run - he was looking good. It was not on performance that we made the switch, that's for sure. We had the opportunity to give Hugo a consecutive run of four games - including the two national team games like it happened. We are extremely happy about the fact we did. It gave him the first impact of Premier League football. But, as a great professional, he has to move on from that."

Meanwhile Villas-Boas spoke about the controversy over caffeine pills, arguing that such usage is mostly about psychosomatic effects.

It was revealed that the English squad had taken caffeine pills in order to liven themselves up for the World Cup qualifier against Poland and then used sleeping pills to properly rest that night, but the Tottenham manager described their use as more of a 'trick of the mind' than having substantial effects on a player.

"Different teams use different situations," he said. "The players recover. In the end it's more a question of tricking the mind rather than the actual effect of any kind of sleeping tablet or caffeine. That's the way I see it. Certainly, we use vitamins. We have to take care of players. We use drinks, energy drinks for players. We use all kinds of situations, like any other team in the world.

"I don't think it was because of that England got the result (1-1) they got."


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