AVB plays down future talk
Andre Villas-Boas has cooled talk he could stay at Chelsea for the rest of his career, admitting he had expected to be at Porto for many years. Blues chairman Bruce Buck last week declared the club may finally have found their Sir Alex Ferguson figure in Villas-Boas, claiming the 33-year-old could end up staying at Stamford Bridge for 15 years. That is the maximum time Villas-Boas plans to spend in his current profession and, with the Portuguese on Friday celebrating the second anniversary of his entry into management, he was making no predictions about what the future might hold. "It's the 14th October, which is the day I started at Academica," said the precocious Villas-Boas, who also turns 34 on Monday. "I have this idea of not being in the game for a long period of time. "Bruce's words weren't said to collide with my words, on my future, but I really don't know what will happen." Villas-Boas is Chelsea's seventh manager in the eight years since Roman Abramovich bought the club, with the Russian ruthlessly dispensing of those he deemed to have failed in the job. The Blues are also on their 15th boss since Ferguson took charge of Manchester United almost a quarter of a century ago and Villas-Boas admitted it was "difficult to imagine" spending a similar length of time with one team. He added: "It would be difficult for Alex to have predicted that 25 years ago." Buck last week gave Villas-Boas a ringing endorsement, revealing Abramovich was particularly pleased with the attractive brand of football the new manager was beginning to implement. But Buck also seemed to acknowledge success had to follow if the Portuguese was not to suffer the same fate as most of his predecessors. Villas-Boas said: "A longer or shorter stay can or cannot be related to success. "Last year, I went through the same (at Porto). "We won four trophies and my emotions told me I'd be there a long time. But now I'm here. "From what I understand from the chairman, there's confidence in the work we're doing and the most important thing is for me to alert people who aren't at the club that it isn't my arrival that's made us start well. "This is a group success. We're happy with what we're achieving. Not fully happy because we'd like to be first in the league. But we're confident for the future." Villas-Boas certainly seems to be planning for the long-term. "I have a three-year contract and there's always room for improvement," he said. "We just hope we improve in all areas and not make them worse. "It's about making good decisions in the areas we are touching, the structures of the club as well as the team." The short-term goal is to cut the gap to Manchester United and Manchester City at the top of the Premier League. Providing Chelsea win their next two games, they will achieve that, with the Manchester derby coming up a week on Sunday. They might even move level on points on Saturday, with United travelling to Liverpool and City hosting Aston Villa before Villas-Boas' men take on Everton. "If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen," Villas-Boas said. "In the next two weeks, there are two weeks of Premier League contenders playing against each other, so the others have to make the most of it. "We'll have difficult games in Everton and QPR, but we will try to get six points." Overcoming Everton will be easier said than done, with David Moyes' men having made themselves Chelsea's bogey team in recent years. Carlo Ancelotti never managed to beat them in his two years as manager, while the Toffees are undefeated on their last five Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge. Predicting a "battle", Villas-Boas said: "They are in a good situation and, once again, they are proving that David Moyes' work is something fantastic. "Even with all the difficult financial problems they have, it's a club that's well organised and should make the English public proud."
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