After a long summer of gossip, controversy and secret negotiations, Tottenham finally sold Bale to Real Madrid on the penultimate day of the transfer window.
With a host of new signings to choose from, Spurs had coped reasonably well without the 24-year-old star, winning four straight games in all competitions.
That run came to an end two weeks ago, however, when Villas-Boas' men put in a poor performance at Arsenal, where they lost 1-0 thanks to Olivier Giroud's first-half strike.
The defeat dented the pride of the Tottenham squad and their manager, who is looking for a response when the Canaries come to White Hart Lane on Saturday.
"That is the only thing we can do," the Tottenham manager told Spurs TV Online.
"The frustration was big after the Arsenal game because we had an opportunity to continue our perfect start to the season, and get a win over our rivals, but we didn't create enough clear cut chances in that game even though we had lots of possession. We wanted a result there.
"The players have come back here now looking ambitious to get the result we need and hopefully they can step up their game so the team can do exactly that."
Although this will be the first time Spurs line up without Bale being on their books in six years, in reality they started life without him a long time ago.
Spurs have spent in excess of £100million on seven new players who have been brought in to soften the blow of a man who scored 26 goals for the club last season.
Although Erik Lamela only arrived back from his stay with the Argentinian national team on Thursday morning, the 21-year-old forward could make his full debut against Norwich, as could £11.5million man Christian Eriksen.
Norwich notched up a 2-1 win at White Hart Lane two seasons ago and last term Villas-Boas could not register one win against the Norfolk club in three attempts.
The Portuguese hopes the memory of the two draws and the one defeat they suffered at the hands of Chris Hughton's side will drive his team to victory.
"Norwich will be a difficult test. They were a team we couldn't beat last season, so we have to be on our toes," the 35-year-old said.
"I think Norwich are a team who have evolved a lot, individually.
"I think our motivation should be on beating a team we couldn't beat last year. It won't be an easy game, We will approach it in a responsible way. Like Spurs, Norwich had a busy transfer window.
Leroy Fer, Nathan Redmond and Gary Hooper have moved to Carrow Road, along with record signing Rickie van Wolfswinkel.
Villas-Boas has been keeping a close eye on the Dutch striker over the last two years during his time at Sporting Lisbon, where he scored 35 goals in 73 appearances.
"Norwich did some strong activity in the transfer window and they look good this year," Villas-Boas said.
"I know (Van Wolfswinkel) well from seeing him in the Portuguese League playing for Sporting Lisbon.
"He is a very agile player. He is very strong in the air. He has wonderful years in Dutch football and deservedly arrives to the Premier League now too.
"I think he will be one of their strengths. Obviously he is a different type of player to Grant Holt.
"He offers great mobility and great positional sense and he is someone our central defenders have to be aware of."
Spurs midfielder Etienne Capoue, along with Aaron Lennon, will miss the game through injury.
Capoue sprained his ankle against Arsenal, but Villas-Boas reckons the Frenchman will soon be back in action.
"Capoue will be back in three weeks, hopefully," the Spurs manager said.