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We tried everything - Andre

Andre Villas-Boas knew it would be tough to break down resolute Stoke – and that’s how it turned out on Saturday.

The Potters batted back everything we threw at them as it ended goalless on a rain-soaked afternoon at the Lane.

Stoke arrived in N17 with a record of just 13 goals conceded in the Premier League, a record they maintained with another solid defensive display.

We came closest to breaking the deadlock in the final minutes as Gylfi Sigurdsson connected with Sandro’s cross with a glancing header that looked destined for the bottom corner, only to see Stoke goalkeeper Amir Begovic fling himself low to his right to turn the effort away.

“It’s so difficult,” said Andre. “If you cross the ball, they are taller, through the middle they outnumber you, they defend, they are solid, they are aggressive. That makes it tough to break them down.

“We tried all ways, crosses, through the middle, shots from outside the box and it just didn’t fall our way.

“The players really had a go. The other day (against Swansea) we saw that effort rewarded, this time around we didn’t.

“Credit to Stoke as well for being so competitive and for making it so difficult for us.

“It’s a point at home, obviously not what we wanted, but we have to keep going and to recover, because we now have an important game against Aston Villa.”

We travel to Villa Park on Boxing Day, kick-off 5.30pm.