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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Nov 6, 2013

Villas-Boas hits back at Spurs critics

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has reacted angrily to criticism of his decision to allow goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to play on after he was knocked unconscious against Everton.

• Marcotti: Things must change

Lloris, 26, was knocked out during Sunday's 0-0 draw with Everton after colliding with striker Romelu Lukaku, but the Frenchman remained on the pitch after Spurs club doctor Shabaaz Mughal and physio Geoff Scott were satisfied he was fit to continue.

Villas-Boas and his medical staff were widely criticised for failing to bring Lloris off,  with FIFA's chief medical officer, the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) and international players' union FIFPro all condemning the decision.

But the response has left the Portuguese furious, with Villas-Boas leaping to the defence of his staff, who helped save the life of former Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba when he collapsed on the White Hart Lane pitch in 2012.

Hugo Lloris Tottenham training
Hugo Lloris was back in training on Wednesday.

"I stand absolutely by the decision I took and I stand by the decision that the medical department took following the checks that they made on the player,'' Villas-Boas said.  "All the checks were according to the book.

"I have registered the fact that a couple of people have taken this opportunity to find the chance to get themselves publicised who have no experience in the pitch whatever in these type of situations.

"And I find it extremely disappointing that two people -- a great doctor and a great physio -- who saved the life of Muamba were heavily put into question by lots of incompetent people, with absolutely no experience on the pitch, no experience in the action, no experience in the moment. That is extremely serious and disappointing.''

Lloris has now been given the all-clear after a brain scan and may be involved against Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League on Thursday.

However, with Spurs only requiring a draw to advance to the knockout stages, Lloris could be rested for the game, with Brad Friedel waiting in the wings for a place in the starting line-up.

Villas-Boas confirmed he intends to field some players from the club's highly-rated development squad in the remaining games if Spurs qualify early, saying:  "If we ensure qualification in first place, we will probably do that. As soon as we achieve it, we can look at it as an opportunity to throw them into a senior game.''
 

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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