Tottenham Hotspur travel to Southampton on Sunday in search of improvement following two underwhelming performances.
Andre Villas-Boas’ men were beaten 4-2 by English Premier League leaders Chelsea at the weekend before playing out a 1-1 draw with Slovenian club Maribor in the Europa League on Thursday.
While they remain winless in European competition, Tottenham are fifth in the Premier League after eight matches, eight points behind their London rivals.
Tottenham will be boosted by the return of winger Gareth Bale, who missed the last two fixtures due to the birth of his daughter.
Bale is preparing to make his first appearance at St Mary’s Stadium since leaving Southampton for Tottenham in 2007.
“On such an occasion it is important to give the player a choice of a return so he comes back mentally strong and ready to focus,” Villas-Boas said.
“It’s important to have input from the player as well. So, we will have no doubts about his state when he returns for the Southampton game.”
Southampton occupy 18th with four points, just one point above Reading and Queens Park Rangers, leaving Nigel Adkins’ position as manager up in the air.
Adkins himself this week admitted the team are under pressure, having conceded more goals in their first eight games than any other team in Premier League history.
Asked if he would be given enough time to turn the side’s form around, Atkins said: “I don’t know. That is football, I am being brutally honest with you.”
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