Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas thanks Brad Friedel for saving his Spurs
Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas conceded veteran keeper Brad Friedel prevented Norwich City inflicting a first Premier League home defeat of his White Hart Lane reign.
The Portuguese may have pulled off a deadline day transfer move for French number one Hugo Lloris, but Friedel underlined he will take some shifting with a trio of outstanding reaction stops to frustrate the Canaries.
Robert Snodgrass was denied in a dominant first period from Chris Hughton's men before the American clawed out Anthony Pilkington's angled strike and then thwarted Bradley Johnson in stoppage time.
Villas-Boas insists Spurs have been better value for their early season return of two points from the opening three matches, but the hosts were indebted to their last line of defence.
'In the first half he was outstanding,' said the Tottenham manager. 'Last week we created lots of chances and Ben Foster was outstanding, so this is a normal situation. It is not the start we wanted or deserve. We had two good games here that didn't get us the win. Everybody is looking for those first three points and then we can show more confidence and talent. I think there was a little bit of anxiety.
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'Last week we had a difficult second half and in the first half here Norwich played extremely well and only Brad saved us. In the second we improved, looked more creative, more confident but conceding in a bad moment of the game – that is also down to Norwich and their organisation. We must praise that.'
Tottenham's home support vented their collective frustrations both at the interval and full-time after watching a second consecutive home league draw. Villas-Boas understands the mood of discontent but rejected any growing comparisons with his brief failed tenure at Chelsea.
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'No, there are no comparisons because at Chelsea we started (the season) very well,' he said. 'Here we started well in terms of performances but not in terms of results. The Premier League is only one month old. We look forward to the rest of the season.
'You have to accept their disappointment. It has not been the ideal start to the season. No-one more than us wants that first win. They have to understand that we are doing everything in our power to do it. It was a different game from (West Brom) last week but a goal more or less conceded in the same way so I am disappointed for us to concede in the dying moments of the game.
'When things like this happen you have to work on our concentration and our sharpness a little bit to make sure these situations don't happen again. It is a pity that we have worked to try and solve it during the week so it hasn't been enough. We will have to pursue it again.'
Mousa Demb�l�'s goalscoring debut was a stellar highlight and Villas-Boas believes Tottenham's transfer dealings in the closing hours of the window will bear fruit in due course – despite admitting defeat in their club-record pursuit for his countryman Joao Moutinho.
'We were covered for the fact that it might not happen bearing in mind they (Porto) are a difficult club to deal with,' he said. 'We agreed player terms late but it was situations regarding the contract which were not right so we could not complete the transfer. We have solutions and cover enough.
'Moutinho not happening should not overshadow we got one of the biggest coups of the window in Clint Dempsey. A player who has scored 17 goals last season, 12 the season before and a player who can help us go one step further. We can give the transfer speculation a rest and look to get the team right.
'Mousa was extremely good. He came on and brought us some more forward-thinking ideas and took the ball forward – more passes, quality, the ball arriving much more to our striker. He is a player who can play in many positions. He can be a massive help to us this season.'