AVB: It’s Spurs who need revenge over Chelsea, not me!
Andre Villas-Boas says Saturday’s clash with Chelsea has “all the ingredients for a spectacular match” – but he insists it is Tottenham who need revenge over the Blues, not him.
The Portuguese 35-year-old was sacked by Chelsea in March and, having subsequently moved across the capital to replace Harry Redknapp at Spurs, now has the chance to inflict a first defeat of the season on his former employers.
The Lilywhites host the unbeaten league leaders at White Hart Lane in a mouth-watering showdown, but Villas-Boas is keen to distance himself from the spotlight ahead of the big clash.
“There is one thing which has been blown out of proportion in some ways – this is certainly not a personal matter,” he said.
“This game is not going to decide the future of both teams in the Premier League - after this game there will be 30 more games to play, and both teams will have to have decisive matches in front of them. It counts as three points. It doesn’t win us a trophy.
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“Obviously it is a game which we play at home, we have four wins in a row and we approach it very confidently, but the reality is that the opponent approaches it in same way - maybe even more so, given the trophies that they won in the past.
“To a certain extent I feel this is much more about Tottenham in the sense that this is the team who took this club out of the Champions League, and this is the team who prevented this team from playing in FA Cup Final last year - so in the end we certainly have the ingredients for it to be a spectacular match.”
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In his very first Tottenham press conference Villas-Boas accused Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich of “quitting on me” – but he was anxious to avoid antagonising his former club today.
“It’s not appropriate to go back to what I’ve spoken about already in my first press conference,” he said. “If I go back, it takes the match away from the players and from the supporters, who are more important.
“Taking it to an individual situation is not fair on me - first because it means absolutely nothing on the end of season and in which position you might finish, and because it is not a quest of an individual, it is a quest of a team, and where we want to finish at end of the season.
“We want to finish in elite of the Premier League, in the top four, which brings qualification for the Champions League – sometimes. We have to be very, very strong and involved all together, not just one person.”
Villas-Boas reported that he has no new injury concerns following the international break, stating: “We don’t expect any kind of problems at the moment, everyone is feeling okay.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs