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Villas-Boas says Torres can cope with pressure

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20 Jan 2012 11:46:35

Villas-Boas says Torres can cope with pressure

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas insists struggling striker Fernando Torres can cope with the mental pressure of competing with Didier Drogba for a place in the team.

Former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti -- now in charge at Paris St Germain -- this week suggested Chelsea would have to sell Drogba to get the best out of Torres because the Ivory Coast forward's imposing personality can intimidate players trying to replace him.

Torres has scored just five goals in the year following his British record 50 million pounds move from Liverpool, but Villas-Boas is convinced the Spaniard has the right character to deal with the stresses of life at Stamford Bridge.

"It would be unfair for a player of Fernando's personality and dimension to conclude that one is inflicting on the other one's belief," Villas-Boas said.

"If that was the case with any player, it would be a mental weakness or a mental block, which is not the case in my opinion."

Torres -- without a goal for three months -- lost his place to Drogba earlier this season before being restored to the starting line-up following the Ivorian's departure for the African Nations Cup.

Torres has shown signs of finding his form recently, but Villas-Boas is adamant that is down to the Spaniard's talent and not Drogba's absence.

"It hurts everybody in the sense of goal statistics but he's doing tremendously for the team," Villas-Boas said.

"He's a striker with a hunger for goals who wants to be in the box. We've seen him in the box, we've seen him arrive and create danger.

"As long as he's working well for the team, I don't care how the statistics will finish and how dramatic people think they are."

Villas-Boas compared Torres' situation to Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko, who is often on the bench, despite a decent goals per game ratio, because the club has so many good forwards to choose from.

"We have a player like Dzeko with plenty of goals but he's not used all the time by City," Villas-Boas said.

"The numbers, statistically, are impressive for Dzeko. He had scored 10 goals in the first few weeks of the season.

"But (City boss Roberto) Mancini feels others offer something positive and different for the team."


AFP

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