Andre Villas-Boas plays down Brad Friedel omission

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas says his decision to end Brad Friedel's record run of Premier League games and play Hugo Lloris was merely "rotation".

French goalkeeper Lloris was rarely tested in Spurs' 2-0 win over Aston Villa but it halted Friedel's string of 310 consecutive games over eight years.

The Spurs boss said Friedel, 41, was "disappointed" but accepted the call.

"Nothing tipped the balance [in favour of Lloris], we understand that Brad has been immense," said Villas-Boas.

"We wanted to give a continuous run of games for Lloris bearing in mind the Panathinaikos match [Spurs drew 1-1 with the Greeks on Thursday] and two France games coming up, so it keeps his form high and allows us to count on two great keepers. So we are fortunate that we can do this rotation.

"Obviously Brad was disappointed but as a great professional he ended up accepting the decision. We respect his performances and I'm sure he will be back in the team as soon as possible."

Friedel has been preferred to Lloris, 25, in the league so far this season, with the former Lyon keeper reportedly frustrated by his lack of appearances.

France international Lloris had to wait until Tottenham faced Lazio in the Europa League on 20 September before making his Spurs debut following his £12m move at the end of the summer transfer window.

Having started against Panathinaikos, it was expected that Lloris would make way for his more experienced team-mate but he looked confident against Villa, with goals from Steven Caulker and Aaron Lennon sealing victory.

The only concern was when Lloris's poor throw gave the ball to Villa, from which they carved out their best chance, but Christian Benteke headed wide.

Tottenham have now won four Premier League games in succession and remain unbeaten at home.

And Villas-Boas said his team were starting to adapt well to playing on Thursday and Sunday each week, a schedule enforced by their participation in the Europa League.

"We made a tremendous physical effort and we still did not go down a level in performance, so it was a massive effort for them and I'm extremely happy with the result," he told BBC Sport.

"It's not easy [playing Thursday-Sunday], but the players are getting that habit and it's extremely positive for the future."

Top Stories