independent

Friday 18 April 2014

AVB not fazed by Mourinho freeze

Andre Villas-Boas, pictured, has not spoken to Jose Mourinho for 'quite some time'

Andre Villas-Boas insists he does not lose any sleep over his split with Jose Mourinho.

Villas-Boas and Mourinho will lock horns for the first time on Saturday when Chelsea visit White Hart Lane.

For seven years Villas-Boas worked under Mourinho as a scout at Porto, Inter Milan and Chelsea.

But after Mourinho rejected Villas-Boas' plea to move up to a more senior role, the 35-year-old decided to go his own way.

The move paid off as Villas-Boas enjoyed success at Porto, before going on to manage Chelsea and now Tottenham.

The pair enjoyed a good working relationship during their time together, but Villas-Boas insists he had to leave his mentor's side to pursue his own management career.

When asked if he regretted no longer being close to the Chelsea manager, Villas-Boas said: "I don't lose any sleep.

"Our break-up point was because I was full of ambition to give him something extra and I wanted further involvement from the job I was doing at that time.

"I felt I could give him much more. But he didn't feel the need for somebody near to him or in another position as an assistant, and because of that it was decided that it was time, after Inter Milan, to continue our careers [apart]."

The current state of the relationship between the two was probed on several occasions at Thursday's media conference. Would it be fair to say that Villas-Boas no longer considers himself friends with Mourinho, one reporter asked.

"Yes, I think so," the Tottenham manager replied.

"We had a great personal and professional relationship before that we don't have now.

"I don't think we need explanations. But our relationship broke down.

"I think we have the mutual respect for each other and we understand what we have been through cannot just disappear but it's not like it was before."

Villas-Boas conceded in the summer of 2012 that he had not spoken to Mourinho for "quite some time".

That impasse was broken two months ago at a League Managers' Association meeting which followed soon after Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge.

The two will not have a chance to help thaw their frosty relationship after Saturday's game with a glass of wine as Villas-Boas has to jet off to Porto as he is guest of honour at the club's 120-year anniversary dinner.

Surprisingly, Mourinho, who guided Porto to Champions League glory in 2004, does not appear to be on the guest list.

"I don't think Jose will be there," Villas-Boas said.

Villas-Boas will come up against several of the players he was in charge of at Chelsea on Saturday.

One of them - Juan Mata - has been given the cold shoulder by Mourinho, who has used the Spaniard sparingly this season.

Villas-Boas made an enquiry for Mata earlier this summer after Chelsea signed Willian, but it is unlikely the Portuguese will bid for the midfielder again when the transfer window reopens.

"No, I don't think so," Villas-Boas said when asked if he would be keeping an eye on Mata's situation at Chelsea.

"When top players become available, when their situation changes at a club, and particularly for a player like Juan Mata, you enquire about the situation, but nothing went further than a simple enquiry."

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