AVB needs time, says Porto coach

Former assistant insists Chelsea's embattled manager has necessary quality to transform club

Andre Villas-Boas yesterday received more backing from his former club Porto as speculation continued over the Chelsea manager's future.

Villas-Boas, whose attempts to turn the Blues' season around were supported earlier this week by the Porto president, Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, was given words of encouragement by the man who succeeded him at the Estadio do Dragao.

Vitor Pereira, who was Villas-Boas's assistant during Porto's record-breaking, quadruple-winning 2010-2011 season, issued the praise as he prepared his side for tonight's Europa League last-32, first-leg match against Manchester City.

As well as previewing that game in his pre-match press conference, Pereira spoke about his predecessor's troubles at Chelsea, suggesting that Villas-Boas needed to be given time to transform his new club's fortunes.

The Porto coach said: "Andre is a quality coach and will certainly, in time, prove his quality and competence." Pereira's backing came as reports continued to claim that some of Chelsea's players had lost faith in Villas-Boas.

It was suggested yesterday that senior Chelsea squad members were hoping that the club's owner, Roman Abramovich, would once again bring in Guus Hiddink to save the club's season, just as the owner did three years ago. Chelsea have repeatedly maintained that Villas-Boas's position is not under threat, while Hiddink's agent has insisted his client would not comment on whether he would consider returning to Stamford Bridge unless a vacancy arose.

The Dutchman was certainly a popular figure among the players during a caretaker spell in 2009, during which the club lost just one match and won the FA Cup. Villas-Boas, on the other hand, was reportedly challenged openly by members of his squad during frank exchanges at the club's training ground on Sunday.

The former Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari suggested player power was one of the reasons he was sacked and replaced by Hiddink in February 2009, while Pinto da Costa claimed that previous Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho's continued contact with his former stars was undermining Villas-Boas.

Abramovich has been far more reluctant to bow to any suggestion of dissent in the ranks since Villas-Boas took charge, giving the Portuguese the green light to revamp an ageing squad.

But the transition has proven a turbulent one and it remains to be seen whether Abramovich will fire another manager if the Blues continue to look in danger of failing to qualify for the lucrative Champions League. The Russian will also be expecting progress in the FA Cup on Saturday, when Chelsea host Birmingham, and it will not go down well if they fail to get past Napoli in the Champions League.

Chelsea's captain, John Terry, is close to a comeback from a knee injury but Ashley Cole remains a major doubt for the FA Cup game with a calf problem that has left him unable to train since last Saturday's Premier League defeat at Everton.

Thibaut Courtois, Chelsea's summer signing, has revealed he wants a loan move to another English club before making his Chelsea debut. The goalkeeper, who joined Atletico Madrid on a season-long loan upon moving to Stamford Bridge from Genk, said: "I think that before going to Chelsea, I have to play one or two years in another English team to discover the football played there.

"After that, we'll see if I am ready to move to Chelsea. It's hard to say now."

There would be no shortage of suitors for Courtois, who has earned rave reviews in Spain. He told a Belgian radio station: "At first it was difficult. When I arrived, I found myself alone at the hotel. I almost wanted to cry. My team-mates helped me. I learnt the Spanish language and all is well now. If Madrid wants me to stay one more season and Chelsea accept, we'll see."

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Extras
indybest
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits