Andre's praise for players
Andre Villas-Boas paid tribute to the players after a spell of three games in six days concluded with a key victory against Liverpool on Wednesday night.
A lightning start laid the foundations for the 2-1 win as goals from Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale propelled us into a 2-0 lead inside 16 minutes.
Gareth was unfortunate to score an own goal in the second half but we held on under pressure to take maximum points and move up to fifth in the Premier League.
The winger's display certainly caught the eye. "Gareth is performing at a tremendously high level at the moment, along with many of his team-mates, making a vital contribution as we seek to narrow the gap on the leaders," said Andre.
"Like all of our key players, Gareth is on a long-term contract as we continue to build for the future and his progression will be of benefit to our team. He is an important part of our future and we have no intention of letting any of our top players go."
The three games in six days included a trip to Rome where we gained a valuable point against in-form Lazio in the Europa League before achieving back-to-back wins against West Ham and Liverpool.
The team put in an outstanding display to beat West Ham on Sunday before having to fight all the way to against the Reds.
"It’s been a great week for us and I have to compliment the players on their efforts,” said Andre. “We came back from Lazio to a 3-1 win against West Ham, who were ahead of us, and now a 2-1 win against Liverpool, a team that shares the same objectives as us.
“We’ve got the results we wanted and against a top team like Liverpool, it’s an important win. Those results put us back on track to where we want to be.
“It doesn’t stop here. We have to maintain our form and one more win against Fulham would be brilliant because we want to join the teams at the top. To see us three points from third place is massive for the team.”
Michael Dawson played a huge part as we soaked up Liverpool’s pressure in the second half.
“We started superbly and that gave us something to hold on to,” said the skipper. “We needed that with how it went in the second half.
“We picked up another three points and everyone went home happy. Football’s all about that sometimes.”