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Villas-Boas denies Lampard rift

CHELSEA boss Andre Villas-Boas insists there is no need for him to patch up his differences with Frank Lampard, joking: "We are not married to each other!"

Lampard last week admitted for the first time his relationship with Villas-Boas had "not been ideal", but Villas-Boas reiterated it was "good, excellent".

The Blues manager claimed that did not mean he and Lampard needed to hold clear-the-air talks on the matter, insisting they were still on speaking terms, and said: "It's just a manager-player relationship in the end."

He added: "Frank's words are genuine. They are genuine from a player that has a reflection of a relationship between us. For me, it's fine, I have no problems with it."

Star midfielder Lampard has been unhappy with the number of games he has missed this season but Villas-Boas said: "I have to choose the team and I try to choose the best team for every single game.

"It hasn't involved Frank a couple of times but it doesn't mean I have a personal problem with him.

"His own interpretation of the relationship is his own but I have no problem with it and I explained it to him.

"They are decisions I have to take for the benefit of the team, always."

Chelsea fans left little doubt who they would back in any dispute between Villas-Boas and Lampard during last weekend's Barclays Premier League win over Bolton, repeatedly singing the latter's name throughout.

Villas-Boas was not worried about losing the battle for hearts and minds, saying: "No, not at all. I think the fans take the team's side. We were winning 3-0 - everybody's happy, no?"