Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas says Chelsea match not a personal revenge mission

 

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas is refusing to treat Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash against his former side Chelsea as a personal revenge mission.

The 35-year-old was sacked as Chelsea manager in March after less than nine months in charge and faces the Blues for the first time since replacing Harry Redknapp at White Hart Lane.

But despite leaving Stamford Bridge under a cloud, Villas-Boas will not be treating the match any differently to any other league fixture.

He said: "In the end there is one thing which has been to a certain extent blown out of proportion in some ways - this is certainly not a personal matter.

"This game is not going to decide the future of both teams in the Premier League - after this game there will be 30 more games to play and both teams will have decisive matches in front of them. It counts as three points. It doesn't win us a trophy."

The former Porto manager did, however, suggest that his players may have revenge on their minds when they run out to play the European champions.

Chelsea's first ever European Cup success meant Spurs missed out on this season's Champions League despite finishing fourth in the league.

Spurs were also beaten 5-1 by their London rivals in the semi-final of last year's FA Cup and Villas-Boas feels his squad could be looking to get their own back on Saturday.

He said: "It is the team who took this club out of the Champions League, this is the team who prevented this team from playing in FA Cup final last year.

"So in the end we certainly have ingredients for it to be a spectacular match, hopefully.

"We never know how the game can develop. But certainly, a good game might hopefully give us a chance to go nearer the top, which is what we want."

Chelsea will be without skipper John Terry, who accepted his fine and ban after being found guilty by an independent Football Association panel of racially abusing the QPR defender during a game at Loftus Road on October 23, 2011.

Terry worked closely with Villas-Boas during their time together at Chelsea and, although the Portuguese believes the former England captain will be missed, he knows there are a number of able deputies waiting to grab their opportunity.

"Obviously you have to make sure to take into account that this is an extremely good player, an experienced player and Chelsea's captain," he said. "A player of this dimension always is surely missed.

"In the end, I've worked with those players in the past. And the reality was that in that precise sector we never had problems. Other centre-backs are tremendously good too.

"Gary Cahill had a solid start to his Chelsea season when we brought him in January, this season also. And David Luiz, Ivanovic - another option. So the amount of options is so good."

Villas-Boas does not believe there is a lot of difference in managing the two clubs but still feels Spurs have to bridge the gap between themselves and the top sides in England, while accepting Chelsea are already amongst the country's elite.

"Obviously (the two clubs have) different traditions and different culture, have different kinds of supporters," he said.

"(We have a) new training ground, I am enjoying it from now towards the future. Chelsea moved a bit earlier, they have an enormous amount of titles recently.

"You can say they have joined that elite, and Tottenham wants to be in that position in the future. Certainly there is a gap there to be filled, the club can raise its level towards the future."

PA

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