• Lennon's pace and work rate have inspired Spurs
• Performance in last five weeks have made winger 'unplayable'
Scott Parker has identified Aaron Lennon's form as one of the key reasons behind the run of results which has taken Tottenham to third in the Premier League.
Lennon, 25, inspired his side to a 3-1 win over Reading on New Year's Day, his performance making up for the absence of the suspended Gareth Bale and prompting lavish praise from André Villas-Boas, who called him "extraordinary, such a magnificent player".
Parker, who played the final 20 minutes against Reading as part of his comeback from injury, said Lennon had become "unplayable" in the last five weeks, a period during which Spurs have lost only once, away at Everton.
"He was at a different level against Reading – not just his raw pace and his threat on and around the ball but his work rate was something very special," said Parker. "I couldn't think of anything worse if I was a full-back than him running at me. He probably could have set up another couple if it had fallen for the right people.
"Everyone knows the qualities we have out wide. Gareth is fantastic and sometimes gets all the headlines but 'Azzer' [Lennon] has been key to that as well."
Parker, who had surgery on an achilles problem following Euro 2012, made it through his second-half appearance without new problems and remains confident about regaining his starting place.
"I didn't think I would be out for as long as I was but I always thought I would get back to where I need to be. It's just about hard work now. My achilles is fine. I just need to put in some game time and get some good training under my belt."
Parker said he felt confident about Tottenham's ability to maintain their league form and avoid repeating the dip they experienced in the second half of last season under Harry Redknapp.
"We have looked good away from home and, after quite a tricky start at home with some draws against teams we would expect to beat, we've done very well. We're sitting pretty nicely in the league so hopefully we can maintain that.
"There was a little point last season where we dropped off. There is always going to be a point where your form becomes patchy and it's down to how long it lasts really. You would like to think we can maintain the results and push on."
There was less positive fitness news for Tottenham regarding Younès Kaboul, who has struggled with his recovery from knee surgery in August. Kaboul, the club's most consistent centre-half last season, has played only once this season, in the defeat at Newcastle on the opening day. He had hoped to be out for no longer than four months but the new target is, at best, early February. Benoît Assou-Ekotto, though, could be available to return in Saturday's FA Cup tie at home to Coventry City, having made good progress with his knee problem.
The overall health of the squad has left Villas-Boas relaxed about the need to make January signings, although the manager remains open to any possibilities that present themselves.
If he could make one big signing, it would be the Internacional and Brazil striker Leandro Damião. Centre-forward is the priority area for Villas-Boas as he has only Jermain Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor as specialists in the position. He has no great confidence, however, that a deal will be closed for a player whom Tottenham have chased without success for several transfer windows.
The club are hopeful, though, that Adebayor will not join Togo for the Africa Cup of Nations, which begins on 19 January in South Africa.
Adebayor has said that his issue with playing at the tournament relates to the Togolese FA's struggles to co-ordinate the logistics and to create a safe environment rather than his unhappiness at the non-payment of bonuses. Adebayor is haunted by the gun attack on the Togo team bus before the 2010 tournament in Angola, in which three people were shot dead.