Norwich City manager Chris Hughton believes that Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas will eventually be a success at White Hart Lane.
The Portuguese manager was always going to face an uphill battle convincing the Spurs faithful that he is the right man for the job after a disastrous spell as manager of Chelsea last season.
Defeat at Newcastle on the opening day of the campaign and dropped points at home to West Brom and Norwich mean that Tottenham currently lie 14th in the Premier League, already five points off that coveted 4th place Champions League spot.
Despite this, Canaries boss Hughton believes that Villas-Boas will change the fortunes of the North London club in time. Hughton told The Telegraph: “I’m sure he will be very successful. He’s a very good manager but when you are at a club like Tottenham, expectations are always high.”
Hughton, who holds Tottenham Hotspur very close to his heart, after spending 33 years at the club both as a player and an assistant manager, is a man who can empathise with Villas-Boas’ situation.
Hughton, like Villas-Boas, is currently having to contend with the immediate pressure that comes with following a successful manager, with Hughton succeeding Paul Lambert at Carrow Road and Villas-Boas succeeding Redknapp at Spurs. Hughton said: “I took over from a very successful manager after three good years but you have to try to instil something different.”
Football is a game of fine margins and if Spurs had managed to keep out an injury-time equaliser from James Morrison against West Brom and a well-taken 85th minute equaliser from Norwich’s Robert Snodgrass on Saturday, Villas-Boas would be enjoying a much happier start to his Tottenham tenure.
Tottenham had made a promising start to the game, displaying plenty of attacking intent and deservedly taking the lead after a fine finish from debutant Moussa Dembele. However, as the afternoon unravelled, so did Tottenham. Firstly, in the 81st minute substitute Tom Huddlestone received a harsh red card from referee Mark Halsey for a mistimed two-footed tackle on Norwich midfielder Bradley Johnson.
After that Spurs had to endure a barrage of Norwich attacks and defenders William Gallas and Jan Vertonghen looked unable to cope with the movement of Norwich strikers Grant Holt and Steve Morison.
The Spurs faithful may have left White Hart Lane even more disgruntled had it not been for the constant brilliance of veteran goalkeeper Brad Friedel in the Tottenham goal. Norwich’s Bradley Johnson almost netted a last-gasp winner for the Canaries, only to be denied by the American shot-stopper.
Despite a fruitless start to the campaign, Villas-Boas is confident that a win isn’t far away. “The fans showed their disappointment but nobody more than us wants to win.”