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'It's a difficult blow to take' - Villas-Boas disappointed by late Everton defeat

Tottenham held a 1-0 lead going into the 90th minute but were denied even a share of the points as Steven Pienaar and Nikica Jelavic struck for David Moyes' men

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has described his side's late loss to Everton as "a difficult blow to take".

Spurs held a 1-0 lead going into the 90th minute thanks to Clint Dempsey's deflected strike but were denied even a point as Steven Pienaar and Nikica Jelavic struck.

The goal was the latest in a long line of those conceded in the final moments by Spurs this season, and the Portuguese rued his team's inability to see games out.

"If we count the number of results that have been bad for us in the last minutes we would be first I think," he told reporters.

"It’s a difficult blow to take. We didn't play well in the first half but improved in the second half. Everton didn't have as much quality as they did in the first half and apart from the two goals we suffered in the last minute we looked more in control of the game.

"We kept the ball well, we had possession and were looking to see off the game. In the small details and when Everton got a bit more aggressive with the long ball it was difficult for us to clear and we ended up suffering.

"It's not really easy to explain [why Tottenham have conceded so many late goals] because they come through different situations.

"It's something that we are aware of and that's why we speak about it openly. It's something that we have to improve, seeing off the game and seeing off results.

"You knew as soon as the kick off went for the 1-1 that they would go and have a go."

The former Chelsea boss went on to insist his side did not miss injured winger Gareth Bale, citing goalscorer Dempsey as an able deputy on the left-hand side.

"[Bale]'s a different type of player. Bale is a pure winger and Dempsey is a player who comes from the line and inside," he continued.

"You saw him doing it to great benefit for us in our last games where he not only assisted people but he scored today once again. Both of them are extremely good players but it's a different type of game that they offer."

Despite largely praising Everton, the 35-year-old remained coy when asked whether David Moyes' men stand a chance of challenging for a top-four finish.

He added: "I'm nobody to speak about what they think is their objective, it's up to them and to David to say what they are. I think they certainly in the recent years have competed for that top-four position."

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