Spurs have notoriously struggled for goals this term, with Villas-Boas coming under intense pressure after last month's 6-0 thrashing at Manchester City.

Since that humiliating result, Spurs have picked up a 2-2 home draw against Manchester United and a 2-1 victory at Fulham, before repeating that scoreline at Sunderland.

Adam Johnson put the hosts ahead, before Paulinho pulled Spurs level going into half-time. John O'Shea deflected in a Mousa Dembele cross in the 50th minute to hand the men from London victory.

And Villas-Boas believes his players deserve credit for the character they have shown over the past 14 days.

"The players were absolutely outstanding," Villas-Boas told Sky Sports. "It could have been one of those situations again where we would rue our missed chances, but it wasn't.

"I think the result is entirely deserved and puts us back on track near the top where we want to be.

"It's a great win for Tottenham and a great fightback from the Man City result.

"We came back from a very difficult situation, so it was important for us to put ourselves back on track."

And captain Michael Dawson echoed those sentiments, hailing the team spirit within the Tottenham squad.

"It shows the determination and togetherness that we've got," he said. "We bounced back from the disappointment against Man City - we took a lot of criticism.

"We had a home game against Man United where we performed well and could have maybe won it.

"Now we've had two away games and to win (both) is a massive boost for the boys.

"When you lose 6-0, it's not great, but we showed the character in the camp, we're all together and we're fighting for a Champions League spot."