Andre Villas-Boas 'immune' to criticism and claims Tottenham still have total confidence in him - Premier League - Football - The Independent

Andre Villas-Boas 'immune' to criticism and claims Tottenham still have total confidence in him

There has been speculation over his future since the 6-0 defeat to Manchester City

Tromso

A defiant Andre Villas-Boas insisted on Wednesday night that he does not fear for his job as Tottenham Hotspur manager despite Sunday’s 6-0 defeat to Manchester City.

The Portuguese attended a scheduled board meeting on Monday at which the game was discussed, but the former Chelsea manager is adamant the club are fully behind him and his position is not in jeopardy, despite reports to the contrary.

Ahead of Thursday night’s Europa League game in Tromso, Villas-Boas said he was “immune” to criticism despite a bruising few days in which both his and his side’s reputations have been questioned.

The 36-year-old instead launched a defence of his methods, saying they would bear fruit and prove the doubters wrong. Villas-Boas insisted his future had not been discussed with the club’s chairman, Daniel Levy, at the board meeting after the result at the Etihad – a defeat the manager believes was a one-off.

“I have the confidence of the board. I have the confidence of my players and I have to move on to do a proper job,” said Villas-Boas ahead of a game which should result in his side confirming their progress from Europa League Group K in top spot.

“The only conversation we [he and the board] had recently was two or three days ago, very, very briefly about the game. The board is of the same opinion that everything went wrong and we hope to get some response in the future.

“It was an ordinary meeting. Will he [Levy] back me in public? No. No. No. That’s not his style, and neither do I ask for things like that.”

Villas-Boas was also keen to emphasise that he had not been personally affected by stories over his future, pointing out that his brutal 256-day reign at Chelsea had prepared him for any eventuality.

He added: “I am immune right now. I used to read a lot into situations like this, into pressure points when I was at Chelsea. But not any more. I am very, very indifferent. There is only one quarter that I come under pressure from, which is the press.

“I was not treated properly [while at Chelsea] by people and I got various opinion-makers and column writers that wrote so many lies that if I had any chance I was liable to sue, that is something that would give me extreme pleasure. But you know. It is part of the job, it is something that I have to take on. The amount of things that I have received when I was Chelsea manager was completely unfair and untrue. It comes with a high-profile job I suppose.”

At least this evening should offer Villas-Boas respite after a difficult week. Tromso have just been relegated from the Norwegian top flight, and at their picturesque Alfheim Stadium, some 217 miles inside the Arctic Circle, the likes of Roberto Soldado and Erik Lamela could take their chance to impress.

Jermain Defoe has been linked with a move to Toronto and has not travelled – “he is a fantastic player for us and we are happy to have him on board,” was Villas-Boas’s take on the striker’s future – but a real improvement is needed after Spurs fell to ninth in the Premier League, although just two points off the top four.

“Normally to big teams when things like this [a 6-0 defeat] happen they happen once every 10 or 20 years.

“All people who were involved in this difficult experience, all of us feel sad and shamed for having taken part in it. The only thing now we can do is avoid a slip-up of this nature.

“Obviously, we want to forget about the result, but for that to happen we need to get into a streak of wins that enables us not only to finish first in the Europa League but also keep pushing forward for those Champions League spots in the Premier League.

“We are not far off from the Champions League spots. So it can all change dramatically. We just have to be focused on trying to get into winning ways as soon as possible.”

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