Andre Villas-Boas admits Brad Friedel is still very much in possession of the Tottenham number one jersey after another excellent performance from the American in Sunday's 2-1 win over QPR.
The 41-year-old goalkeeper pulled off two world-class saves from Clint Hill and Junior Hoilett to prevent Spurs from sliding to defeat inside 45 minutes as Rangers threatened to run riot in the London derby at White Hart Lane.
Hugo Lloris, signed for £8million from Lyon, made his debut against Lazio last Thursday but was on the bench again, and Villas-Boas looks set to keep faith with Friedel for the match at Manchester United on Sunday. Villas-Boas said: "We have made Hugo alert that whenever Brad has a bad game we won't (drop him). These things have to be taken very carefully."
He continued: "We don't doubt Hugo's dimension and talent but at the moment we are paying respect to a player who is performing very well.
"At the right time we will think about it or not and Hugo is an extremely good professional. He wants to come back into the team but he is competing for the jersey and he will get his chance very soon."
Jermain Defoe is another player who is thriving on the increased competition for places at White Hart Lane.
Defoe calmly slotted home from 12 yards less than two minutes after Alejandro Faurlin had put the ball in his own net to make it 1-1.
"He (Defoe) is performing at the top level," Villas-Boas said. "He has had his opportunities this season and he is taking them tremendously.
"This summer I had conversations with him and his agent and told them that I am a person who respects people who are performing well and he deserved a lot of credit for the goals he scored last season.
"This season he is facing tough competition from (Emmanuel) Adebayor and Clint Dempsey, but he keeps on performing. The competition is making him tick."
- Brad Friedel
- Hugo Lloris