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AVB calls for calm in FA Cup tie
Published : 23 Jan 2012 08:46:34Rss feed
Andre Villas-Boas has appealed for Chelsea fans not to single out QPR defender Anton Ferdinand during next weekend's FA Cup fourth-round tie at Loftus Road.
John Terry has been charged with racially abusing Ferdinand during the Barclays Premier League game between the two clubs on October 23. The England captain, who denies the allegations, is set for a hearing at West London magistrates court on February 1.
"Regarding the fans, it is our responsibility as a club to calm the situation around the game and also to put on a message for the media as you can do excellent work in calming things down and everyone can have an impact for just another game of football," said the Chelsea boss, who has no intention of leaving Terry out of the game.
The manager's appeal came ahead of news that a man has been arrested in connection with alleged racist chanting by a group of Chelsea fans on a train back from the club's 0-0 draw against Norwich.
British Transport Police (BTP) said one man was detained on Sunday and remained in police custody in north London.
A spokesman said officers were still looking for other people involved in the alleged incident after the club's match on Saturday. Chelsea have vowed to take action against any fans proved to be involved in racist chanting.
Chelsea headed straight to Spain for some warm-weather training after the frustrating draw at Norwich, where striker Fernando Torres again drew a blank. Villas-Boas hopes the break will help the squad regroup for the second half of the season as they aim to somehow get back into the title race.
"It is a change of environment to break the routine," the Portuguese coach said.
Villas-Boas refused to lay the blame for Saturday's blank completely on the shoulders of Torres, who saw a first-half effort turned around the post by a brilliant full-stretch save from John Ruddy before, on the hour, dragging his shot wide from eight yards.
"The fact that you saw that the team produced so many attacking opportunities was also down to him and his movement and mobility," Villas-Boas said. "The most important thing is the work-rate for the team. You can't say that he is not trying. Fernando is making the right movements and is present in the box and one day I think it will go with him."
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