Belfast Telegraph

Villas-Boas sacking 'sad' - Ferguson

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was among those to sympathise with sacked Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas, despite admitting the news did not surprise him.

Villas-Boas was shown the door at Stamford Bridge following another poor result, this time a 1-0 defeat West Brom, and Ferguson was disappointed to see a highly-rated young manager given such a short time to prove himself in the Barclays Premier League.

Speaking prior to his own side's 3-1 win over Tottenham, Ferguson told Sky Sports: "The news is not surprising to me really. There was all the build-up in the media and obviously the results haven't been kind to him. But it is disappointing because he is a young manager."

He added: "When you are young you need time and obviously in this industry you don't get a lot of time unfortunately, so it is sad in a way. I hope he does well because he has got the potential. His work at Porto can't be ignored and I hope he comes back into the game soon."

Avram Grant, one of Villas-Boas' predecessors at Chelsea, was sacked by owner Roman Abramovich despite coming within a whisker of Champions League success.

"I don't know what happened at Chelsea from the inside but some managers before have been sacked at Chelsea and it's all about results," Grant told Sky Sports News. "In this case, without knowing what's happened inside, the results were not so good and the football was not so good. I always like more patience but we expect this, no?

"You need to bring results and good football, this is the target of Chelsea. The owner has made this clear and he has put a lot of money in to do things in the right way. This is the name of the game. I think in this case he was lacking a little bit of experience but I'm sure he'll succeed at the end of the day because he knows football."

Roberto Di Matteo has been placed in charge until the end of the season, while a host of high-profile names have already being linked with the job. Among those are former boss Jose Mourinho, who could be leaving Real Madrid in the summer, and ex-Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez.

Ray Wilkins, who previously worked at Chelsea as Carlo Ancelotti's assistant, told Sky Sports News: "(Di Matteo) has managed in the Premier League, he's been around quite a while and I would say it's probably better Robbie takes over until the end of the season than somebody coming in until the end of the year.

"Robbie's the right guy to do it, along with (first-team coach) Steve Holland, that would be the perfect match. We'll see where they go at the end of the season."


From Belfast Telegraph