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Villas-Boas defends Bale

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has leapt to the defence of Gareth Bale after the winger was again booked for diving.

The Welshman, who hurt his hamstring in the 3-0 win over Fulham on Saturday, was shown a yellow card for the second straight game for simulation.

Bale is expected to miss ‘one or two weeks’ with the injury and Villas-Boas said the booking for diving was harsh on the 23-year-old.

“Gareth is a player who is so fast that it’s difficult to judge situations,” Villas-Boas told reporters.

“He has also had injuries to his ankles before, and sometimes he wants to protect himself a little bit, and sometimes he might put his body in situations where the ref thinks he is diving, and he is suffering from it.

“He is now near to a suspension from two unfair yellow cards in the last two games.

“You gain a reputation as a diver sometimes unfairly, and Gareth has suffered a lot in his career. It’s a bit harsh on him.”

Michael Dawson also picked up a knock to his hamstring as Tottenham secured their third consecutive win, but Villas-Boas said the defender’s injury was not as serious as Bale’s.

Villas-Boas was pleased with striker Jermain Defoe, who scored twice to seal the victory after Sandro opened the scoring at Craven Cottage.

“Whenever you need strikers, Jermain is there,” he said.

“Sometimes strikers can look distant from the game, but when the team sets them up, it’s important for them to have that clinical touch. He just has it, and he’s having an amazing season with us so far.

“We have had a very good week following on from the Lazio draw, and there are so many individuals who deserve credit because they’ve been excellent. They are setting a new standard this season, and it’s good to see.

“It’s a good win for the team, and we’ve managed to change our fortunes in terms of results, but it doesn’t stop here. We have to continue with the same momentum.

“It was one of those games where one goal can unlock it, and fortunately we found it, and were able to go all the way.”

Fulham manager Martin Jol, whose team have failed to score in their past three league matches, was disappointed with the way his side conceded.

“It was a bad result. It was a tight game but the likes of Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon, Clint Dempsey, Jermain Defoe … we kept them pretty quiet,” Jol said.

“It was very disappointing to concede three goals out of nothing.”

Sat 1 December, 2012
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