Andre Villas-Boas says he has been instructed by Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy to achieve victory at all costs against Arsenal on Saturday.
The Gunners won last season’s corresponding fixture 5-2, eventually overhauling their rivals in the Premier League and securing a Champions League spot, while Spurs missed out due to Chelsea winning the competition.
Spurs currently sit a place and a point above Arsenal, and Villas-Boas has revealed that he has been given constant reminders from his chairman to avoid last season’s heartache when the teams clash again in the north London derby.
“He keeps on mentioning it,” the 35-year-old said.
“I think it’s normal, you really have to embrace it because it’s part of the greater culture of this game, it means a lot for both teams.
“You can’t wear red in a situation like this – at this training ground. The meaning of it is quite special and all of us embrace it.”
The Portuguese coach also revealed that he fully comprehends the historical significance of the game having talked to numerous members of the White Hart Lane staff.
“I have been getting it for the last two weeks, people have been speaking about it quite often – the staff, the chairman – so you understand the importance of it,” he said.
“This is a game where passion is very high, it’s a game that represents three points, but is more than that in the history of north London derbies.”