TOTTENHAM’S weekend trip to Sunderland will come too soon for ex-Black Cats loanee Danny Rose to return to the Stadium of Light.
Spurs defender Rose, who enjoyed a hugely successful loan spell on Wearside last season, was due to resume first-team action at the start of December after suffering a foot injury in September’s Europa League clash with Tromso.
But the 23-year-old sustained a thigh problem on the comeback trail which has kept him on the sidelines.
Rose, named Sunderland’s Young Player of the Season last year, is due to return to training this week, but will not be back in time to feature in Saturday’s clash.
Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas said: “He had a minor setback on his quad but hopefully he will be back in training before the Sunderland game.”
Villas-Boas’ side head to Wearside on the back of a morale-boosting comeback at Sunderland’s fellow strugglers Fulham on Wednesday night which secured a first league win in five.
That barren run had put heavy scrutiny on Villas-Boas’ position, with some reports last Sunday even mooting Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet as a potential successor to the Portugese at White Hart Lane.
But midfielder Lewis Holtby, who grabbed the winner at Craven Cottage, says Tottenham’s players have not been fazed by the speculation over their manager.
Holtby said: “We are sticking together. We are not discussing things that are happening outside - that is not our job.
“Our job is to get points to win games and make the fans happy. That is our main objective.
“There is a lot of negativity coming from outside but we are all sticking together. Bringing this bad mood into the team will not help. We are positive and we know that the season is long.
“We all stick behind the gaffer. We give our best.
“Of course we had a tough time in November but last night we got a good result at a difficult place.
“Now we need another three points from the Sunderland game.”