Villas-Boas persisted with just one striker on the pitch despite playing in front of a packed White Hart Lane crowd - who booed the decision not to play two strikers.
And Villas-Boas said: "The most important thing for the players to realise is that we do things for the benefit of the team.
"We understand individual frustrations but we, as a team, are more important. The game wasn't going well for Defoe. We took him off to improve the team."