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AVB doesn't regret Mourinho split

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas insists he does not regret his split with Jose Mourinho one bit.

Last Updated: 27/09/13 at 14:40 Post Comment

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas insists he does not regret his split with Jose Mourinho one bit.

Villas-Boas and Mourinho will be in opposing dugouts for the first time on Saturday when Chelsea visit White Hart Lane in the Barclays Premier League.

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 at the San Siro, 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 an "outstanding" 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 personal relationship between the two was probed at Thursday's media conference. Would it be fair to say that Villas-Boas no longer considers himself friends with Mourinho?

"Yes, I think so. We had a great personal and professional relationship before that we don't have now," he said.

"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 re-appointment as Chelsea boss.

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.

Perhaps 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 of his former mentor.

Villas-Boas did his best to approach Thursday's media conference with a diplomatic head.

The Portuguese admitted his compatriot had been a big influence on his career and he insisted Mourinho was the right man to lead the Blues through their current sticky patch.

But there is a feeling that old wounds between Mourinho and Villas-Boas, and Tottenham and Chelsea, could easily reopen.

Spurs fell out with Chelsea over their pursuit of Luka Modric two years ago and the two clubs clashed again in the last transfer window when the Blues snatched Willian from under Spurs' noses just as the Brazilian was about to sign for the north London club.

Reports had suggested that Tottenham were convinced that Chelsea had bought Willian just to prevent the player from signing from one of their rivals - a claim denied by the Blues.

Another clash came soon after when Spurs made an enquiry for Juan Mata - only to be knocked back by Mourinho.

Villas-Boas thinks Chelsea may have done so because they now see Spurs as a real threat to their title ambitions.

When asked if that could have been a sign that Chelsea were worried about Spurs, Villas-Boas said: "Yes,

I suppose that is a sign of evolution from Tottenham and our ambitions.

"It is normal. Last year we were fighting for the same objectives in the end so I suppose they wouldn't like to strengthen a rival."

Villas-Boas hopes to have Aaron Lennon and Danny Rose available for the derby, but Younes Kaboul is doubtful and Etienne Capoue remains sidelined with an ankle injury.

Emmanuel Adebayor will also miss out as he has been ill since his return from compassionate leave.

The out-of-favour Togo international had been told he would have to train with the development squad, but Villas-Boas has revealed that the former Arsenal man will join in with first-team training instead from next week.


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