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Nov 5, 2012

AVB plays down Defoe reaction

Andre Villas-Boas has admitted he was unhappy to see Jermain Defoe walk straight down the tunnel after being substituted in Tottenham's shock 1-0 defeat to Wigan.

• Blog: Go fourth and prosper?

Spurs fans showed their displeasure at Villas-Boas' decision to withdraw the in-form Defoe and replace him with Emmanuel Adebayor in the second half.

Defoe walked off straight down the tunnel after the change was made, something which displeased his head coach.

"For sure it is not something that is very pleasing to see,'' Villas-Boas said. "The most important thing for the players to realise is that we do things for the benefit of the team. We understand individual frustrations but we, as a team, are more important.

"The game wasn't going well for Defoe in our thought process. Maybe he could think the opposite but we don't take him off to punish him. We took him off to improve the team."

Adebayor was expected to be the manager's first-choice striker this season following his impressive form last term whilst on loan at White Hart Lane. But since completing his permanent move from Manchester City in the summer the striker has failed to start a Premier League game, though that may change against his former club this weekend.

The striker is reportedly unhappy at his level of involvement this season but Villas-Boas insists there is no problem with the player's attitude, citing recent injuries as the reason why he has not had more time on the pitch.

"We're quite happy with his attitude," Villas-Boas said. "He had an injury which took him out for six games and then another injury took him out for two games. We have the injury records if you want to look at them.

"From the 11 that we've played, I think he's been out for eight of them and he wasn't here at the start of the season. In the games when he was available he showed the quality striker that he is.

"We have no doubts whatsoever. We have him fit now and hopefully ready for the next upcoming games. We know his ability."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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