Portuguese admits he is pleased the Blues put a smile on the faces of fans and praises 'unbelievable' Frank Lampard after recalled midfielder scores against Bolton
After a goalless first half in London, goals from David Luiz, Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard secured the three points for the Blues, their first win in their last five matches in all competitions, but Villas-Boas’ future is still a big topic of discussion.
Following recent comments made by FC Porto chief Pinto da Costa suggesting Villas-Boas will join Italian side Inter if sacked by Chelsea, the 34-year-old attempted to put an end to any rumors, insisting he will be at Stamford Bridge next.
"There isn’t a vacancy there [Inter] and I am not looking for a job. It makes no sense," Villas-Boas told reporters after the Bolton win. "I am fully involved in the future of Chelsea. I am looking forward to the preparation and initiation of next year’s project. There is a strong belief in the club that we can push on next year. At the moment, that talk is all speculation."
Following the win over Owen Coyle’s side, the former Porto boss highlighted the importance of getting back to winning ways, believing that a building on this victory will help them progress in Europe and the FA Cup.
"The pressure has been on the team to get results recently. Our run is not impressive in the last few games so the team really wanted to go back to winning ways," he continued. "The important thing for us is to build from this day onwards. Solve the FA cup tie and Champions League tie and improve our position in the league. It’s an important day as it can mean a start. We need to get our form right and be competent against West Brom and Stoke."
The under-fire coach also spoke about his team selection for the match, dismissing the importance of Lampard not playing in the loss to Napoli, claiming it was just a case of squad rotation, while he also lavished praise on the midfielder.
"[We used a] Different formation in game against Napoli as we played with two defensive midfielders in front of the defense and with Mata between the lines," he explained. "Today we got back to our normal 4-3-3 with three pairs of fresh legs on. Straight forward change Cole for Bosingwa. Lampard has always been competing for a place since returning from injury. He had his chance today and played fantastically well. It was normally squad rotation and nothing new.”
Despite bagging a goal and being Chelsea’s outright top goalscorer this season, Villas-Boas admits he can’t call Lampard a guaranteed starter because of the amount of competition he has, but he conceded if he keeps performing like against Bolton, then he’ll always be near the starting lineup.
"It’s not the way it works," he mused. "He has been performing for the team. He had a fantastic day but the rest were also competent. There is competition. There are three players competing for those six positions. The decisions are for the benefit of the team and of course players are going to feel disappointed. Frank is an unbelievable midfielder. His performance wasn’t great because he got the third goal, it was great because he upped the team in his possession, in his defending."
Villas-Boas also sarcastically brushed off suggestions that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich had an influence on his team selection, while he also added he doesn’t feel he has worked out what the Russian’s agenda is.
"Of course, it’s coincidence [that senior players were back in the team]," he claimed.
"I got the call this morning to play all three [Essien, Lampard, Cole] of them," said the tactician, sarcastically. "To be fair, I think to have a good relationship and empathy of professionalism between us, there should be a sense of respect. I am not in tune with Roman’s agenda. Today it was important for the team to win, mostly for the fans. They deserve a lot and demand a lot. Today was an important win for them. At least today they can go home smiling."
For the first half of the match, Chelsea looked frustrated and out of ideas, while its set pieces also left a lot to be desired, but the manager doesn’t feel they were too bad, noting the team just couldn’t get the goal it deserved.
“I disagree [better after halftime],” he said bluntly. “We were very competent in the first half but we couldn’t get the goal that would unlock Bolton’s defense. We got it straight away after that. We managed to get the second goal straight away. The team talk has been exactly the same as recently. When you find the first goal you find more space and eventually it helps you find the result."
David Luiz, although coming under an awful lot of criticism for his defending since signing last January, scored another goal in the win, with his surging runs forward a particular highlight, and his manager believes the Brazilian’s style is becoming a big part of their style.
"It’s part of our characteristic. As long as the cover up is there," he continued. "Whoever plays in that position. We had the cover, came out with the ball and scored a goal similar to that against Leverkusen."