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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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Spurs seek solution to costly late goals

William Gallas has revealed that Tottenham head coach Andre Villas-Boas has held meetings with the club's defenders to try to stop them conceding late goals.

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Spurs have conceded ten times in the final ten minutes of matches already this season, and those late strikes have cost the London club a total of 14 Premier League points already this season. They are currently fourth in the table, 13 points behind leaders Manchester United.

The most glaring of those late aberrations came against Everton earlier in December, when two stoppage-time goals saw them defeated 2-1 at Goodison Park.

Veteran defender Gallas said it was important for him and his team-mates to stay calm in the closing moments of games if they are to secure a top-four place this season.

"We've had a meeting with the manager because we've been conceding late goals and we have to be a little bit more focused, a bit more strong," Gallas told talkSPORT.

"Sometimes maybe we are panicking and we've let goals in. So we've been working very hard and we've had some meetings to look at the video to see what is good and bad, and against Swansea [a 1-0 win last Sunday] it was good to keep a clean sheet."

Further up the field, Tottenham have been boosted by the news that winger Gareth Bale should be fit for Saturday's game against Stoke City after the Welshman returned to training on Wednesday.

"It's good news," Villas-Boas said. "First for the player because he wants to be back in the group and he's made a tremendous recovery."

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