Pressure on Chelsea is fair, admits Villas-Boas ahead of Spurs clash
Chelsea boss André Villas-Boas admits his side are under pressure but has backed them to get back on track against Tottenham
André Villas-Boas admits that the pressure currently surrounding Chelsea is “fair” – but is convinced his side can get their title challenge back on track with victory at Tottenham.
The Blues were held to a 1-1 draw by Wigan Athletic at the weekend after coming from behind to become the first team to beat league leaders Manchester City at Stamford Bridge a week earlier.
And although the Chelsea boss concedes that the stalemate at the DW Stadium was a disappointment, the 34-year-old is backing his side to showcase their title credentials once again with a win at White Hart Lane.
“The pressure that is on us is fair,” said Villas-Boas. “We wanted to be closer to the league leaders, that is 100 per cent correct.
“At the moment we are far behind; dropping points at the weekend wasn’t as dramatic as is being portrayed but we need to show the same commitment as we did when we beat Valencia and Manchester City a few weeks ago.”
Villas-Boas also feels that Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham, who are third in the table and two points ahead of Chelsea with a game in hand, have mounted a credible title challenge this term.
“What you have to respect is the fact that Harry made their title contention public,” he continued. “For him to make a statement like that he obviously feels his players have the belief that they can go all the way,’ said Villas-Boas.
“He wouldn’t commit to a statement like that if he didn’t truly believe it or if his players didn’t, because there are implications of pressure and expectancy from the fans when you say things like that.
“At the moment, the statement has played into his hands because the supporters are hyped up and his team are playing fantastic football and they have shown enough competence to suggest they will be a big threat.”
Villas-Boas also dismissed suggestions that John Terry could be affected by a hostile reception on Thursday following the news that the England captain is to be prosecuted for a “racially aggravated public order charge”.
“There is a difficult environment at every Premier League ground and I wouldn’t say that for a player of John Terry’s experience that would be a problem,” continued the Chelsea boss.
“He has my full support, he has the club’s full support and he represents this club to a maximum level. We are very grateful to have a player of this quality in our team and what he represents in terms of history and achievements in this club.
“We know exactly his human values and his personality and for me they are never in doubt and we fully support him.”