Tottenham midfielder Lewis Holtby has handed manager Andre Villas-Boas a glowing endorsement, after he snatched the crucial winning goal in Wednesday night’s 2-1 victory against Fulham at Craven Cottage.
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Villas-Boas came under fire from sections of the media and his club’s own supporters after the 6-0 thrashing at Manchester City last month, yet Germany star Holtby has claimed the Spurs boss has a squad of players united behind him and his ideas heading into the festive fixture list.
"The manager bonds us together and is very close to the team. Everyone accepts him and his way of playing football," Holtby told reporters after the game at Craven Cottage.
"We all stick behind the gaffer, we give our best. Of course we had a tough time in November but last night we got a good result at a difficult place. Now we need another three points from the Sunderland game [on Saturday].
"There is a lot of negativity coming from outside, but we are all sticking together. Bringing this bad mood into the team won’t help.
"We’re positive and we know that the season is long.
"We’re sticking together, we’re not discussing things that are happening outside -- that’s not our job. Our job is to get points, to win games and make the fans happy.
"We have to do our talking on the pitch. We were responsible for that disaster at Manchester City but the way we responded after that has been good. We have to carry on doing that.
"This is a new team, we have bought a lot of players and you need to give them time -- people like [Erik] Lamela, who don’t speak the English language.
"Every game it is coming, we will get to know each other better and better. We are doing an ok job but we are getting there. I hope we can get a winning streak now.
"There are games every three days in December so we have to be up for it every time. Last season, we did really well during this time and got ourselves near the top of the table. The fixtures we have are very important now and there is a possibility of getting a lot of points."
Holtby admitted his winning goal, which was his first in the Premier League, has been too long in coming, and he hopes it will kickstart his Tottenham career.
"I’ve been waiting for that goal for a long time," he added. "I had scored in the Europa League but to score the winning goal in a derby in the Premier League, I was buzzing.
"I was flying somewhere else, I had a pulse of maybe 250 for my celebration. Days like this, that’s why you play football."