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New Year cheer for Andre

Andre Villas-Boas paid tribute to the players for showing the 'resilience and ability' to come from 1-0 down and complete a fine festive spell with a 3-1 win against Reading on New Year’s Day.

The Royals scored in the fourth minute but Michael Dawson soon levelled and further strikes from Emmanuel Adebayor and Clint Dempsey made it three wins and a draw from the games against Stoke, Villa, Sunderland and now Reading over the Christmas and New Year period.

The victory also stretched our current sequence to seven wins and a draw in our last nine matches in the Premier League.

Andre said 10 points in the four games since Stoke on December 22 was ‘perfect’.

“It wasn’t going to be easy against Reading, that’s what we told the players and going a goal down in the first five minutes made things even more difficult,” reflected Andre.

“That goal gave the opponent the belief that maybe they didn’t have coming into this fixture.

“It was important for us to turn it around and in doing so, we once again showed our resilience and ability to bounce back. “

In doing so, the team managed to break down a packed Royals’ defence. “It’s difficult, but you have to be patient,” explained Andre.

“In the first half, we created a lot outside the box and in the second half, we managed to get in behind them a little more, that meant we had better chances and that’s why we scored.”

However, the visitors had a five-minute spell at 2-1 where they carved out three chances to level, with Hugo Lloris saving from Pavel Pogrebnyak, then a combination of Hugo and Kyle Walker keeping out Jimmy Kebe and finally Michael Dawson heading away as Pogrebnyak looked to turn home from a corner.

“That’s normal,” said Andre. “We had so much initiative that sometimes to keep that level of concentration for 90 minutes is difficult.

“Credit to Reading, they managed to get in behind us and had the chance to get back to 2-2.

“At times, we haven’t had that luck in the running of a game, but they didn’t score and then we managed to score to put the game to bed. It’s an important win.”

Ade celebrates with Kyle Naughton

Finally, there was praise for Ade, who took his header superbly, hanging in the air to reach back and power home.

“It was a difficult header and he’s been trying in the last couple of games, found himself in positions but not been able to score against Swansea and Sunderland. Now he’s got it, so I’m delighted for him,” added Andre.