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Feb 21, 2013

Villas-Boas revels in Europa progress

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas believes his side will emerge as one of the favourites to win the Europa League trophy if they follow up their thrilling win against Lyon by beating Italian giants Inter Milan in the next round of the competition.

• Blog: Dembele late show
• Europa League gallery

Mousa Dembele's 90th-minute away goal proved crucial as Spurs secured a 3-2 aggregate win in France, with a tie against the Nerazzurri setting the pulse racing for the coach who lifted the Europa League crown with Porto two years ago.

"Going through against Inter Milan and Lyon puts you in a good place to win the competition," said a bullish Villas-Boas, whose side progressed to the last-16 thanks to Dembele's late strike.

"Tottenham had two magnificent games against Inter two seasons ago and we just want to recreate that special night that everyone remembers at the club. We will approach this game to try to win it, but it's going to be extremely difficult because this will be another step up.

"Inter Milan won the Champions League a couple of years ago and it's basically the same team. This will be a great, great fixture for us and I'm really happy to be able to play a fixture like this."

Villas-Boas suggested the scenes of jubilation in his dressing room after the game justified the importance he has placed on Tottenham's European adventure this season, as he continues to insist he is determined to do all he can to bring Europa League glory to White Hart Lane.

"We want to continue setting the example in this competition," Villas-Boas added. "We think it's a real example for England. I don't think the Europa League is a distraction, I think it's an inspiration. Results like this give confidence for Inter and the Premier League.

"When you score in the last minute, especially with a goal that brings you into the next round, there are all the emotions going through our group. Everyone is buzzing to continue in this competition, which is why we reacted so joyfully.

"We regret sometimes being a team who needs to react and we only reacted after we conceded the goal tonight, but over the two legs we deserved to go through."

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