Villas-Boas backs Tottenham striker Defoe to keep up first team push

Tottenham Hotspur Head Coach Andre Villas-Boas has urged Jermain Defoe to keep scoring when given a starting berth and increase the pressure on current first choice striker Roberto Soldado, Sky Sports has reported.

Defoe scored as Tottenham beat Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia in the Europa League to move within one goal of becoming the club’s all-time leading scorer in European matches, a spot currently held by Martin Chivers. It was Defoe’s seventh goal in four starts this season but most of his appearances have come in cup competitions, with Soldado usually picked by Villas-Boas for Premier League action.

Villas-Boas hinted that would be the case again this weekend as Tottenham host Defoe’s former club West Ham, but the Portuguese did commend Defoe for his continued excellent form in front of goal. “We have to judge recovery and the fact that JD was involved today and Soldado wasn’t. Everything will come into consideration,” Villas-Boas said. “We have been extremely happy with the performances of both. It is a question of deciding what is best for the team.

Soldado has scored only twice in the league this season, both penalties, following his big-money move from La Liga side Valencia in the summer transfer window. Defoe’s goals have not only taken him to the brink of becoming the club’s top continental striker, but he is also fifth on the list of Spurs scorers in all competitions.

Villas-Boas praised Defoe’s scoring instincts, adding he was confident Defoe would keep performing whenever the chance arose. “ It was another great goal, a great finish,” Villas-Boas said. “It’s really good to see him out there again doing extremely well whenever he’s given the opportunity.

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