Villas-Boas heaps praise on record-chasing Defoe

The Tottenham manager is delighted at the professionalism shown by the veteran striker as he edged closer to breaking a club milestone but hints that he may still be dropped
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has praised striker Jermain Defoe after he moved within one goal of equalling the club record for scoring in Europe.

The 30-year-old netted the opener for Spurs as they overcame Anzhi Makhachkala 2-0 on Thursday, leaving himself just one shy from Martin Chivers's milestone of 22 in continental competition.

"It was another great goal, a great finish," Villas-Boas told reporters. "It's really good to see him out there again doing extremely well whenever he's given the opportunity.

7/2 Jermain Defoe is 7/2 with Bet365 to score the last goal in Spurs v West Ham
"He is a great professional, has a great attitude and now he's only one off Martin Chivers so it's a real great achievement for him.

"I think he has the ambition this season to go even further up the ladder in this record tally behind Martin Chivers and as an all-time goalscorer so I think that plays highly in his motivation, definitely."

The 35-year-old hinted, however, that he may again drop the striker – who has made all four of his starts this season in cup competitions – for Roberto Soldado when they visit his former employers, West Ham, in the Premier League on Sunday.

He continued: "We have to judge recovery and the fact that JD was involved [on Thursday] and Soldado wasn't.

"Everything will come into consideration. We have been extremely happy with the performances of both. It is a question of deciding what is best for the team."