André Villas-Boas has said he and his Tottenham Hotspur players should be "ashamed of ourselves" after the club lost 6-0 at Manchester City, their heaviest defeat in the Premier League since 1996.
Jesús Navas started the rout after 14 seconds and, after the final whistle, Tottenham sent out a tweet on their manager's behalf, saying "André to the fans: 'The only thing I can say is sorry. It's a very poor result, not to our level. #THFC"
After the match, in which Navas got a second, Sergio Agüero scored two goals, Alvaro Negredo one and Sandro put the ball through his own net, Villas-Boas made no attempt to hide his feelings. "Every attack was a goal-scoring opportunity for them, we weren't at our best and we have to be ashamed of ourselves after this," he said. "My emotions are not very important. I don't need to point out individuals but to lose 6-0 is extremely embarrassing for anyone involved in that."
The defeat equalled Tottenham's worst results in the Premier League – a 7-1 defeat by Newcastle United in 1996 and one of 6-0 by Sheffield United three years earlier.
Villas-Boas, whose defence had conceded only six goals in 11 league games before this, said: "It is difficult to explain. Everything went wrong for us from being one of the best defences in the country to conceding six goals, it is very hard to find an explanation. Our game plan and motivation was immediately affected by conceding after 14 seconds. After the first 20 minutes when we could have got back into the game, we lost control of the situation."
Despite the one-sided nature of the opening period Villa-Boas still felt Spurs could come back from being 3-0 down at the break. "Lots of teams have reacted well to coming back into games after half-time. We needed a goal early [in the second half], but it didn't happen and that was a killer when the fourth went in. Our head went after the fourth goal."
Tottenham are now ninth, eight points behind the leaders Arsenal, having also lost 1-0 at Newcastle United in their previous league game. "It is two defeats in a row," Villas-Boas said. "We are still close to teams who share our objective, everything can change again, so we can get a lift from three points. But we have to get back to work and focus on our mistakes."
Tottenham invested £110m in seven players in the summer financed by the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid but Villas-Boas did not want to get drawn into a debate about whether the signings should be more integrated by now. "The only thing astonishing in this league is that surprising results can happen," he said. "City were on four defeats, we are on four defeats, but I think December and January will be decisive in how the league will finish. We are the ones chasing but we play the champions next week [Manchester United] and we can get a lift for ourselves with three points in that game.
"We never had a proper chance to score, we have to look into it more in depth, not that we haven't looked already. Sometimes it is because of the opponents, sometimes we don't do enough. It's a reality we have to face right now and we have to correct it.
" It is the worst defeat for all of us involved in Tottenham because we have high expectations and losing 6-0 to a rival tends to stick more. It is a bad moment for everybody. We can only look into ourselves and make sure we can go forward. My responsibility is to lift the players, there is always another game coming."
Villas-Boas left Andros Townsend and Jermain Defoe on the bench as unused substitutes but Emmanuel Adebayor was brought on at half-time following his recent attitude problems that moved the manager to have him train with the youth squad. "Adebayor is back in the fold," he confirmed.
Manuel Pellegrini praised Alvaro Negredo, who has scored nine goals in 17 appearances this season. "He is the perfect player for the Premier League, a very important player and very happy here in England," the Manchester City manager said. "The team plays well for him and he plays alongside Kun Agüero, who is behind only Ronaldo and Messi at the moment."
Pellegrini added that Joe Hart will be recalled for the dead Champions League rubber with Viktoria Plzen on Wednesday and added that Vincent Kompany should begin training following a thigh injury and may be available for Sunday's visit of Swansea City.