Chelsea won’t be fazed by Valencia task, insists André Villas-Boas
Chelsea manager has instructed his side to seize the initiative in Tuesday's Champions League Group E showdown with Valencia
André Villas-Boas insists he will not instruct his Chelsea side to adopt a cautious approach against Valencia, despite the importance of Tuesday’s Champions League clash.
The Blues can book their place in the last 16 with either a win or a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge and Villas-Boas knows the Londoners will be relegated to the Europa League if they slip up.
However, the Portuguese coach wants his side to continue with their attack-minded philosophy and seize the initiative in their final Group E game.
“We just have to take the initiative of the game because that’s what we’ve been doing,” he told a news conference. “We won’t change our strategy just because we play such an important game.
“The strategy will be the same and we will take the initiative. We don’t play long balls, we want good quality possession football and that’s what we’ll do tomorrow.”
Juan Mata is set to face his old club for the second time since signing for Chelsea in the summer, and Villas-Boas revealed that he has spoken to the Spain international in an attempt to unearth any details that could benefit his side ahead of the clash.
“Of course Mata will always be a player that knows Valencia inside out,” he continued. “It doesn’t mean that the small details that we can share is going to make the difference tomorrow. But yes, we’ve been speaking about these things because there’s always valuable information.”
Chelsea made it back-to-back Premier League wins with Saturday’s 3-0 triumph at Newcastle – but as they continue their bid to recover from their recent slump in form, Villas-Boas warned his side against complacency.
“It’s not because we won at Newcastle that suddenly we are feel full of arrogance and say that we are on the right track,” he said.
“For us to be back on the right track we have to prove ourselves consecutively in these upcoming games against top opposition.
“If we do that, yes we can say that we are back on track and fully motivated. At the moment we have had one good result away. We will have to continue to perform in the different competitions to say that we are finally back on track.”
Pre-match facts: Chelsea v Valencia
“¢ Chelsea duo David Luiz and Raul Meireles will incur a suspension with their next yellow cards
“¢ Daniel Sturridge’s six league goals this season have come at an average of one every 105 minutes
“¢ Five Chelsea players have been nominated for the FIFPro World XI, which will be announced at the Ballon d’Or ceremony in January: Ashley Cole, David Luiz, John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba
“¢ Jonas’ goal for Valencia against Bayer Leverkusen was timed at 10.84 seconds, the second fastest in Champions League history behind FC Bayern Munich’s Roy Makaay, who struck after 10.12 seconds against Real Madrid in 2006