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Sep 25, 2013

Villas-Boas urges caution after fast start

Andre Villas-Boas is urging caution despite the flying start to the season that has brought Tottenham Hotspur eight victories from their first nine games.

Jermain Defoe puts Tottenham into the lead at Villa Park.
Jermain Defoe scored two goals in the 4-0 win over Aston Villa.

• Fitch: Holtby inspires Spurs

Spurs, currently kept off top spot in the Premier League only on goal difference, eased into the fourth round of the Capital One Cup by repeating the 4-0 win they registered at Villa Park last December.

But the White Hart Lane boss is refusing to get carried away in the countdown to Saturday's home derby against Chelsea.

"It was a great performance," he said. "But it changes very quickly.

"That's the nature of the Premier League and the excitement it brings. At the moment, it's going well for us. This gives us confidence and motivation for the next game but Chelsea are a different proposition.

"It's a difficult game and everything can change dramatically. We are on a good run and hope a blip won't come."

Goals in domestic competitions had been the Tottenham's only weakness in a highly impressive first five and a half weeks of 2013-14, although scoring has proved easy enough in the early stages of their Europa League campaign.

Here, though, Jermain Defoe expertly started and finished a rout that also brought goals from Paulinho and Nacer Chadli.

Villas-Boas had been unhappy at having to play this tie on a Tuesday, barely 48 hours after the victory at Cardiff, and retained only Jan Vertonghen, Kyle Walker and Paulinho in his initial 11 from the side who started in south Wales.

Recent captures Erik Lamela, a club record signing from Roma, and Vlad Chiriches were given their chance and only the heroics of Villa keeper Jed Steer kept Spurs at bay until the final moments of the first half.

Defoe has now scored six goals in his three first-team starts this season and his boss added: "He's doing extremely well and ticking all the right boxes.

"You have to give him credit for what he has done.

"We needed that second goal. Gareth Bale scored three when we won here last season and was on the end of the opportunities.

"I think the team is playing very well now. There's great strength in the squad and great team spirit. We should do well.

"Without Gareth, it gives the other players an opportunity to flourish and we have so many who can score."

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