Villas-Boas hails Lloris after narrow Tottenham win

The goalkeeper produced a number of late saves as Spurs scraped a first win in five league games, while his boss called for patience as Erik Lamela continues to settle
Andre Villas-Boas praised Hugo Lloris after the goalkeeper pulled off a string of impressive saves as Tottenham recorded their first win in five Premier League games.

Ashkan Dejagah broke the deadlock for an energetic Fulham before late goals from Vlad Chiriches and Lewis Holtby sealed the win, with the France No.1 keeping the hosts at bay with a number of crucial blocks in the final moments.

5/6 Tottenham are 5/6 with William Hill to beat Sunderland on Saturday
"It was very important for the team," Villas-Boas told reporters. "For both teams, a win would have been a boost of confidence and it fell our way. Two moments of inspiration solved the game.

"We have to build on this win and get on a good run of results to join the top teams competing for the Champions League spots.

"It was a great game by the two goalkeepers. [The win was] fantastic for [Lloris]. He needed a win like that for his confidence.

"To make such decisive saves and have this impact was important for him on a personal level.

"He fought hard to get his place in this team [last year]. He's a top, top goalkeeper who has great ambitions for himself and the team. He showed his qualities once again."

Erik Lamela was handed just his second Premier League start after missing the 2-2 draw with Manchester United and showed determination in a fast-paced first-half display.

The Argentine faded after the break and Villas-Boas believes patience is key for the club's record signing.

He continued: "It has not been easy for him. Only through more games will it come easier. We have to be patient with him.

"The game wasn't going well for him on the right, so we shifted him to the left. He eventually improved."

Defoe was also afforded just a second league start, with Roberto Soldado starting on the bench, and his manager is aware that his two strikers must start scoring, but praised their application on the pitch.

"It was also giving Defoe back an opportunity to break back into the team. He is doing well. We have two wonderful strikers and they are not scoring as much as they wanted but they are producing football for the team," he said.

"All of us want them to finish off situations that they have so hopefully that can happen soon. Whichever striker it is. Most important is for the team to win. Both of them are fighting hard for their place.

"We have to see [who will face Sunderland]. Robbie played two games in a row before. Now we have to analyse Sunderland and make the best decision."