Sport Soccer

Saturday 23 August 2014

AVB: I've learnt from past mistakes

Published 06/05/2013 | 15:26

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Gareth Bale, left, has a close relationship with manager Andre Villas-Boas, right

Andre Villas-Boas says he has had to make big changes to his management style because of the mistakes he made at Chelsea.

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Villas-Boas returns to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night for the first time since he was sacked by Blues owner Roman Abramovich less than nine months in to his ambitious three-year "project". Villas-Boas' plans to start phasing out the likes of Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and John Terry while replacing them with younger, more dynamic players, played a part in his downfall.

Rumours about persistent unrest among the Chelsea squad dogged the Portuguese throughout his tenure at Stamford Bridge, but Villas-Boas is generally well-liked by his new players at Spurs. "The experiences (of managing Chelsea and Spurs) are different and I learned a great lesson from last year," Villas-Boas said in an interview with Yahoo!

"There are things I do dramatically different and things that I do exactly the same because you still have to stay true to your principles.

"The Chelsea experience allowed me to see things in a different way and helped me address the mistakes I made; that always allows you to develop on a personal and a professional level."

The closeness between Villas-Boas and Gareth Bale was summed up when the PFA and FWA player of the year shared a warm embrace with his manager after he hit a dramatic winner in the 3-2 victory at West Ham in February.

Villas-Boas has also maintained a good relationship with his squad players thanks to his occasional rotation - something that Harry Redknapp was accused of failing to do last season. Although Spurs remain outsiders for a top-four finish, Villas-Boas admits he has enjoyed working with a squad of players who are all pulling in the same direction.

"On a personal note the season has been good for me. I've found it extremely good here," the former Porto boss said.

"It was good to be back in England after last year. I've been very well received by everybody, particularly this group of players whose drive and ambition towards achieving results has been tremendous.

"It becomes easier when the players are willing to commit to your ideas, they need to be able to take something from learning new things, and also enjoy learning new things that they can use in their game. All the players have received me well and when you receive that sort of openness you can create a good environment."

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