Belfast Telegraph

Villas-Boas: I won't change to avoid Chelsea sack

By Jack Pitt-Brooke

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has said that, despite Manchester City's successes this season, he has no intention of emulating their football.

The embattled young Portuguese, a firm believer in his philosophy of the game, said that Roberto Mancini's approach would be better suited to Serie A.

"I refuse to build a team like City, I don't like the standards of their football," Villas-Boas told Portuguese radio station TSF in an interview broadcast last night. "City is a very organised, efficient, well-balanced team. All they want right now is to be champions. There's an exact formula to be successful in Premier League, and that's what City is doing right now: attacking efficiency above all. They are an Italian team, they follow the Italian standards. If I saw them playing in Italy, I would say that's where they actually belong."

With Chelsea in fifth place and close to elimination from the Champions League, Villas-Boas admitted to not knowing whether the club's owner, Roman Abramovich, would dismiss him. At the end of last season Carlo Ancelotti was sacked despite finishing second, and Villas-Boas said the "pattern"might continue.

"We are now in the exact same moment as last year," Villas-Boas said. "It is an exact copy. I think I have felt the confidence from Abramovich. But the pattern of behaviour of the owner has led to a downfall in similar situations or even 'better' situations. What will be the reaction? It will be one of the two: a continuation of the project and full support or just the cultural pattern that has happened before. We don't know."

Despite the worries over his future, Villas-Boas insisted that Chelsea were on the right path: "The cycle of change is a reality and the future is excellent because it is being viewed with Abramovich. I've accepted this challenge because I thought that I could change the players' mentality."

Villas-Boas raised the possibility of a move for Hulk, the Brazilian forward at his former club Porto. "I see room for an explosive player on the wing, someone who is strong in one-on-one situations and Hulk fits that profile," said Villas-Boas. "We have Kalou and Florent Malouda, bothnearing the end of their contracts, while Juan Mata and Daniel Sturridge are the future. As such, there will surely be a place to fill."

Belfast Telegraph


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