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Spurs 2-1 FC Sheriff - Andre proud of Erik and JD

08 November 2013|Tottenham Hotspur

Andre Villas-Boas has hailed the fighting spirit of Erik Lamela after the young Argentine opened his Spurs goalscoring account at White Hart Lane on Thursday evening.

The 21-year-old, a summer arrival from Italian giants Roma, swept home our opening goal against FC Sheriff in the 59th minute of last night’s Europa League Group K fixture – a key strike in a match we went on to win 2-1.

And Head Coach Andre was delighted to see Erik break his duck, after taking a few weeks to settle down in north London.

“It was a great performance, a performance everyone has been expecting,” Andre said of Erik’s display.

“I think both us and the player get great satisfaction out of it. I’m particularly happy for him.

“He’s been fighting, hasn’t let his head drop and he got what he deserved. He's shown great spirit.

“He’s the one who has had more trouble going through his adaptation and has had to compete for his place with players who are playing well like Gylfi Sigurdsson, Andros Townsend, Aaron Lennon and Nacer Chadli, so everyone is happy for him.”

Thursday’s match – our fourth win from four Group K outings – also saw Jermain Defoe rifle home from the penalty spot to break the club’s all-time European goalscoring record.

Previous record holder Martin Chivers looked on as JD trumped his 22-goal continental total by netting his 23rd goal in Europe – and it’s a feat Andre believes may never be beaten.

“I’m delighted for him,” our Head Coach said of JD. “It’s a great achievement, one that goes down in history. It will be remembered for a long time.

“It will be difficult for someone to beat Jermain’s amount of goals in Europe now.

“I’m delighted for him and hopefully what the team does now is like what happened when Martin played – with those goals helping to win a trophy.”