Roberto Soldado Tottenham
Spurs striker Roberto Soldado celebrates after scoring the winner against Hull in the English Premier League. Reuters
Spurs striker Roberto Soldado celebrates after scoring the winner against Hull in the English Premier League. Reuters
Spurs striker Roberto Soldado celebrates after scoring the winner against Hull in the English Premier League. Reuters

Tottenham manager Andre Villas- Boas criticised the home fans for a lack of support during Spurs' cagey 1-0 win over Hull City in the English Premier League.

It took a penalty from Roberto Soldado for Spurs to find a way past a stubborn Hull side, with Tottenham going up to fourth, just three points behind leaders Arsenal, with the victory.

Villas-Boas was unhappy with the way the home fans at White Hart Lane reacted to a lack of goalmouth action from their side and felt the supporters had not helped their side one bit in the win.

"I compliment the boys for what they did -- great work rate," the Portuguese manager told Sky Sports. "Not only that but we played away from home. We didn't have the support that we should have had in a game that we needed a win.

"There was much anxiety present in the fans which transmitted to the players, so this victory is down to the players. We did it with no help today. It was difficult to break them (Hull). They came here with a good strategy and different to what other teams have done here which is defend and look to hit us on the counter.

"I think the thing we did different to the game against West Ham was that we waited patiently for our opportunity. It's always difficult to get in behind a defence of five plus four in the middle and one up front.

"We could have perfectly had a result like this against West Ham (a game they lost 3-0) and our position in the league would be first so sometimes it's difficult. I think we kept the ball on the ground and tried to play, tried to break in behind.

"We need people to be patient and support the players and give them the extra energy to go through and not the negative energy."

Villas-Boas admitted Tottenham were a tad fortunate to be given a penalty for a handball on Ahmed Elmohamady off a cross from Jan Vertonghen late in the game.

"It's obviously harsh, the ball is stopped from going forward because it hits Elmohamady's hand but it comes off his foot so it's difficult," he said. "The referee probably could have not given it but he decided to give it. The ball hits him quite strongly so it stops the ball from going forward in the cross.

"It's a position where sometimes you see it given, sometimes you don't. (Steve) Bruce will be absolutely devastated by the decision."

Hull manager Steve Bruce felt the penalty decision was a "joke." "It is an absolute joke decision," he said. "It hits his leg for a start and then goes up and hits his arm, how do you give a penalty in that situation?

"We have more directives and meetings and all this nonsense, they are all getting assessed up in the stands but then they give decisions like that which just baffles me and I have to ask the question, would we have got it?

"The disappointment I have is that I have lads playing who are desperate to play in the Premier League. They are desperate to make a fist of it and they are now questioning themselves after Everton last week, where we got some decisions against us and today [Sunday] where, in my opinion, he couldn't wait to give it."

This was the third time that Spurs have won 1-0 this season courtesy a Soldado penalty, and Villas-Boas praised the Tottenham striker's ability to remain calm under pressure.

"He's a great finisher, so cool," Villas-Boas added. "Particularly at that time with the levels of anxiety present in the ground."