Tottenham crashed out of the Europa League last night after a penalty shootout defeat to FC Basel.
After drawing the game 2-2 and having defender Jan Vertonghen sent off, Spurs failed miserably from the spot as Emmanuel Adebayor and Tom Huddlestone both missed their penalties.
However, Villas-Boas wasn't disappointed with his players and labeled them "heroes" after a brave display.
He told reporters: “I’m proud of the players because, for me they are like heroes for the way they’ve done it. I wasn’t frustrated with Ade. It was a good performance from the team.
"They are heroes - not only because of what they’ve done today but because of what they’ve done throughout the competition.
“I’m extremely happy with everyone’s performance. We’re extremely disappointed to go out to Basel, but it’s a great honour to have managed my players in this competition the way we did.
“Penalties are always very difficult. We had assigned the strongest penalty-takers and we practised the penalties.
“But you can never recreate the same stress and emotion in training. We’re disappointed. We thought we could have done better at home and we recognised our mistakes.”
To point out the silver lining for Spurs; they can now fix all their attention and resources on securing a top four spot. They have a tough enough task as it is with a few difficult remaining fixtures including Chelsea and Manchester City, while their north London rivals are also breathing down their necks, trailing by only two points and with a game in hand.
Tottenham had a good run in Europe and despite missing out on silverware, Villas-Boas should be almost pleased with the opportunity to secure a Champions League qualifying spot without other distractions. But he clearly doesn’t feel that way:
“No. We wanted to be in it. The fact we are not in it will allow us longer weeks to play the Premier League games."
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