Chelsea boss backs Fernando Torres to deliver when called upon
AndrÃ© Villas-Boas is convinced Fernando Torres will shine when he manages to force his way back into the Chelsea line-up
AndrÃ© Villas-Boas is backing Fernando Torres to rediscover his top form when he is eventually called back into the Chelsea starting line-up.
The Spain striker has fallen behind Didier Drogba and Daniel Sturridge in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge and the Portuguese coach admits he does not know when the 27-year-old will begin to feature regularly.
“Everybody wants to be involved more times but Fernando is also pushing for a place with Didier who is on a good run at the moment,” Villas-Boas told a news conference.
“We always count on our players and I’m sure that when Fernando will be called up he will respond [with] the quality and the talent that he has.
“The question of time to when we will see him back – it may be sooner or later, we don’t know – we just have to make the best decisions about the team.”
Villas-Boas also dismissed recent speculation linking Torres with a £20m move away from Stamford Bridge in next month’s transfer window, insisting the striker “is not for sale at any price, now or in the summer”.
Chelsea are set to lose the services of Ivory Coast international Drogba in late January as he heads to the Africa Cup of Nations – but Villas-Boas admits Torres will still face competition for a starting spot.
“There was a period where both strikers were not involved through suspensions – Fernando first and Didier after – and still we had plenty of availability from other players, from Lukaku, Sturridge and Anelka.
“Anelka will not be involved any more but we have Sturridge, Lukaku and Fernando competing for that place when Didier will be away [at the Africa Cup of Nations] so hopefully we can just make the best decision possible.”
Villas-Boas’s side take on Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium on Saturday and the Chelsea boss is confident his side’s triumph over league leaders Manchester City on Monday will spark a positive run of results.
“I think it’s within the period of defeats that you evolve as a person and as a manager,” he added. “We’ve gone past it and I think we have to continue to show that are making good progress.
“We have a chance to go on a run of four straight wins which would be the first time for Chelsea this season and a motivated Wigan will try to threaten us.
“If we can get the win that we want and we expect it just means that we are maybe on our best period of the season.”