Fernando Torres form will not be an issue insists Andre Villas-Boas
Friday 22 July 2011
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has vowed not to become obsessed by Fernando Torres' form this season.
Torres managed just one goal in 18 appearances for the Blues after he made a high-profile £50 million move from Liverpool in January.
Villas-Boas will be relying on the Spaniard to provide a far greater goalscoring output if he is to enjoy a successful first season in charge and, after Torres struggled in the Blues' 1-0 win over a Malaysian XI in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, the World Cup winners' form was already under the microscope.
Responding to questions over Torres after the game, Villas-Boas warned he would not become bogged down by the form of individuals as he looks to make an impact at Stamford Bridge.
"I don't want to turn Torres into an obsession like you people are trying to do," he said.
"I am not going to waste time over this. I disagree that he is lacking in confidence.
"Every time a player doesn't score, I am asked questions about him. I agree that Torres is a £50 million striker but my focus is purely on the performance of the team, not the individual.
"It doesn't matter who scores. These are pre-season games and they don't have the importance that some people think.
"The point of these games is to get a feel for your team and achieve your objectives in terms of fitness and training.
"To gain the confidence to find the back of the net, Torres needs training, tolerance and patience.
"It doesn't look like he is getting this at the moment but we are ready to give our forwards this patience."
Torres was substituted for Didier Drogba at half-time as the Blues laboured to a 1-0 win in sweltering conditions in front of 84,980 fans.
And the Ivorian was instrumental in the only goal, his free-kick hitting the post before striking the back of the home goalkeeper with the assistant referee adjudging the ball had crossed the line, although television replays suggested he may have been mistaken.
It meant the Blues have won both of their pre-season friendlies under Villas-Boas 1-0 thanks to own goals and the Portuguese admitted he had hoped for more goals from his team.
"It was a difficult game with the heat and the amount of training we have been doing," he told Chelsea TV.
"The players felt it a little bit and I think the most important thing is for us to get fitness conclusions at the moment.
"We had a couple of chances, we cannot deny that, it's a pity that the result went short a little bit on our expectations.
"But some good combinations and some good levels of fitness were shown."
Israeli Yossi Benayoun was booed in the first half, but Chelsea denied the crowd's reaction was anti-semitic.
Villas-Boas also admitted his admiration for Anderlecht's teen sensation Romelu Lukaku, but played down the likelihood of making a move for the Belgium striker.
"Lukaku had a magnificent season in Belgium," he said.
"We are pondering every decision because we don't want to go into the market and make mistakes.
"We have plenty of availability in terms of forwards who can play in different positions - with (Nicolas) Anelka, with (Salomon) Kalou, Didier, Torres and (Daniel) Sturridge.
"This is the reality at the moment of our squad. We need to find the correct balance and this is why pre-season is important.
"On that decision, to bring in another forward, at the moment I don't think we will."
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