sport

Villas-Boas salutes Lennon

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas paid tribute to Aaron Lennon after the winger helped inspire Spurs to a 3-1 Premier League victory over Reading on New Year's Day.

Tottenham fell behind at White Hart Lane to Pavel Pogrebnyak's early opener, but responded immediately to level through Michael Dawson before climbing to third in the table after second-half efforts from Emmanuel Adebayor and Clint Dempsey.

Lennon was excellent throughout, giving veteran left-back Ian Harte a torrid time for much of the game, with his cross setting up Adebayor for the crucial second goal which gave Spurs the lead against a resolute Royals side in the 51st minute.

Villas-Boas told Sky Sports: "He has been massive. Sometimes he lives a little bit in the shadows, he recognises he can be at another level in terms of his performances.

"He has been tremendous for us, not only creating but scoring too. It is creating within himself a winning mentality for Tottenham. It is important for the fans to see his desire and commitment in every single game and he was superb for us today."

Spurs are now well placed in the race for UEFA Champions League football next term, but Villas-Boas knows they cannot allow their performances to dip in the coming weeks, with Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton and West Brom all in contention.

He said: "It is very early stages but it was important for us to pick up so many points in this period. We can only make it better if we continue to get points, we have to continue on this level of form, we cannot drop.

"We have QPR away and then Manchester United at home and for us to continue to push for these places we just need to continue with this type of form."

The Portuguese admitted his side could have made more of the numerous chances they created against Reading, but was content to take all three points, particularly after falling behind early on.

He added: "It was an impressive performance from the boys to come back again. We had so many opportunities to improve our goal difference, but I am still very happy with effort. To take 10 points from four festive fixtures is important.

"We created so many opportunities. The problem in the first half was that we were having so many opportunities from outside the box. We wanted to get into the box a little bit more and I think the players really put on a show in the second half."