Holtby: The players are behind AVB

The "bad mood" outside the Tottenham camp has created a siege mentality inside it, according to midfielder Lewis Holtby.

Lewis Holtby, Jermain Defoe, Tottenham

The Germany international climbed off the bench to strike Spurs' winner in Wednesday night's 2-1 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage.

And then the former Schalke man moved quickly to defend manager Andre Villas-Boas, after Spurs had ended their run of four winless Barclays Premier League matches.

The 23-year-old claimed Villas-Boas is "very close to the team", and said the Tottenham squad have not discussed criticism of the current White Hart Lane regime.

Holtby said: "We are sticking together. We are not discussing things that are happening outside - that is not our job.

"Our job is to get points to win games and make the fans happy. That is our main objective.

"We have to do our talking on the pitch. We were responsible for that disaster at Manchester City but the way we responded after that has been good. We have to carry on doing that."

Admitting Spurs are growing tighter thanks to Villas-Boas' influence, he said: "He bonds us together and is very close to the team. Everyone accepts him and his way of playing football.

"There is a lot of negativity coming from outside but we are all sticking together. Bringing this bad mood into the team will not help. We are positive and we know that the season is long.

"We all stick behind the gaffer. We give our best.

"Of course we had a tough time in November but last night we got a good result at a difficult place."

Tottenham travel to Wearside to face Sunderland on Saturday, with Holtby already targeting a second win of the week.

"Now we need another three points from the Sunderland game," he said.

"There are games every three days in December so we have to be up for it every time.

"Last season, we did really well during this time and got ourselves to the top of the table.

"The fixtures we have are very important now and there is a possibility of getting a lot of points."

Villas-Boas had a public spat with a journalist in the press conference after the 2-2 weekend draw with Manchester United.

If the Spurs boss was frustrated by certain media coverage, Holtby remains unfazed.

He said: "I do not really read newspapers. I can just say how the team is and if you go to the training ground every day, the team spirit is very high.

"There is lot of friendship between a lot of the players. We stick together.

"This team is a new team. We have bought a lot of players and you need to give them time.

"Every game, it is coming. We will get to know each other better and better.

"We are doing an okay job but we are getting there now, and I hope we can get a winning streak now."

Holtby's first Premier League goal left the three-cap Germany international delirious, and a little relieved to be off the mark.

He said: "I have been waiting for that goal for a long time.

"I had scored in the Europa League but, to score the winning goal in a derby in the Premier League, I was buzzing. I was flying somewhere else.

"Days like that - that's why you play football."



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