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Jan 18, 2013

AVB wary of United's habit for late goals

Andre Villas-Boas has admitted that Manchester United's capacity for late comebacks has a psychological effect over opposition teams - although he has not discussed the matter with his Tottenham Hotspur side.

• Blog: United a scary prospect
• Blog: Spurs don't need to worry
• Preview: Spurs v Man United

Spurs are one of the few teams to have successfully held out against United this season, having pulled off a 3-2 win at Old Trafford in September.

But, referencing the visible slump that West Ham United's players suffered when the board went up for four minutes just before Robin van Persie scored in their FA Cup tie two weeks ago, Villas-Boas stated that it definitely conditioned opposition sides.

"It has that effect, I can't deny it," he said. "It's nothing new. It has been down in history for how many years? Twenty? Fergie time! Yes, I think [it is psychological]."

Despite that, Villas-Boas said he had not gone through any special sessions to work against it with his team. He explained: "It's very difficult. I haven't mentioned it but that's the reality."

Villas-Boas has, however, spent a considerable amount of time this season working on his own team conceding late goals. By late December, they had let in a total of ten strikes after 80 minutes - the most in the Premier League.

Since Villas-Boas initiated training sessions to improve his team's concentration in the closing stages of games around that time, though, they have not conceded a single such goal since.

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