Monday 18 December 2017

Villas-Boas insists Abramovich is still behind his 'project'

ANDRE Villas-Boas firmly believes owner Roman Abramovich continues to share the same vision for their Chelsea "project".

The billionaire Russian has been conspicuous by his absence from the club's Cobham base after Villas-Boas was headhunted from Porto last summer, as Abramovich has been enveloped by a high-profile court battle with former associate Boris Berezovsky.

However, this week, the man who bankrolled Chelsea's rise was on hand to watch first-hand as Villas-Boas (right) put the squad through their paces, looking to bounce back from last weekend's draw with Manchester United in a game they had led 3-0.

Villas-Boas has welcomed Abramovich's interest and maintains they share the same philosophy.

"There is great empathy and motivation for next year's project," said Villas-Boas, who takes his side to Everton tomorrow.

"At the moment it has been very good, very positive.

"He is a good person to share knowledge with, ask questions and try to give answers regarding what I do. I think it's legitimate, and would compare it to a normal club president/manager relationship."


The Chelsea manager added: "When we set up with this team, we believed that the team was ready for four trophies.

"We had a transfer window open when we didn't do any market activity, apart from Gary (Cahill), so we are confident on playing to reach the objectives we have for this season with this team and then eventually move on to next year.

"Now we have a Champions League objective. We still play (for) two prestigious trophies."

Villas-Boas insists he cannot let any suggestions of his own position being under scrutiny detract him from the job at hand.

"The reality is that in the last years there was a pattern of managers shifting," said the 34-year-old, who was part of Jose Mourinho's backroom staff during his glorious reign at Stamford Bridge.

"In the end, you have to agree that from 2004 Chelsea has been massively successful. It has been the best period of Chelsea's history.

"Hopefully we can progress that within the three-year range with me here."

Chelsea will again be without captain John Terry because of a knee injury this weekend.

The defender has been given some extra time off away from Cobham, which Villas-Boas insists is nothing to do with the huge commotion which has surrounded his removal as England skipper and the subsequent startling departure of national team manager Fabio Capello.

Villas-Boas, though, appreciates the added significance given to the armband here.

"The English captaincy has further recognition than captaincy in other countries.

"It is a position held with much prestige, also under media scrutiny," the Portuguese coach said.

"I am not sure if in other countries, at least not in mine, it has this kind of valuable position.

"I think the expectancy at international level depends on the demands the international manager puts on the player."

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