Andre Villas-Boas demands Gareth Bale protection

Spurs winger Gareth Bale celebrates his equaliser against Norwich on January 30, 2013
© PA Photos
Andre Villas-Boas says that referees need to offer more protection to Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale, following his side's draw at Norwich City.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas has called for referees to offer star man Gareth Bale more protection after their draw with Norwich City.

Having fallen behind to a Wes Hoolahan goal, Bale netted an equaliser to earn Spurs a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road on Wednesday night.

During the build-up to his leveller the Welshman dodged a lunge from Alex Tettey that Villas-Boas deemed a potential 'ankle breaker', and the Portuguese boss wants to see the officials clamp down on such incidents.

"It was a beautiful goal but he was extremely lucky to avoid Tettey's challenge, which could have broken his ankle," Villas-Boas said. "I'm extremely disappointed he didn't get a yellow or red card. You have to protect the unpredictability, passion and emotion of the British game but you have to be aware that, if people go over the top, players like Gareth could get an injury that takes him out for six months.

"I showed the referee my disappointment. I'm extremely disappointed with that incident. Obviously pushing and shoving and duels are in the nature of the game but sometimes it gets over the top. It looks like you don't want to referee this situation because you don't really know what is happening, so you just let the game go on and pretend that a couple of fouls are part of the game. But I don't think that is so.

"And there's such a discrepancy of refereeing styles. Credit to them because they bring passion to this league by letting the game go on but sometimes it's just over the top."

The strike was Bale's 12th goal of the season.

Tottenham Hotspur's Andre Villas-Boas on the touchline on December 29, 2012
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