AVB happy with Abramovich input
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas insists the presence of Roman Abramovich at the club's training ground this week has been positive.
There had been speculation that the club's owner was checking up on his manager as they face a battle to qualify for next season's Champions League. But Villas-Boas says the targets for the campaign are clear.
"The objectives we have for this season are pretty much outlined,'' he said. "We have two competitions where we look better, and another competition where we have to dilute the damage and try to finish fourth, at least, which is not a very honourable position for the dimension of this club.
"Bearing in mind the rest, we focus on the same and a lot of focus on next year's progress as well.
"We have never stopped speaking, because he is physically present it does not mean the conversation has just started now. The conversations have been ongoing, in different modes, but with physical presence you get your ideas across better, which is good.
"You can speculate whatever you want, but for us it is fantastic to have him here. It is not distracting, not at all.
"There is great empathy and motivation for next year's project. At the moment it has been very good, very positive. He is a good person to share knowledge with, ask questions and try to give answers regarding what I do. I think its legitimate, and would compare it to a normal club president/manager relationship.''
"When we set up with this team, we believed that the team was ready for four trophies. We had a transfer window open when we didn't do any market activity, apart from Gary [Cahill], so we are confident on playing still to reach the objectives that we have for this season with this team and then eventually move on to what is next year.
"Now we have a Champions League objective. We still play two prestigious trophies.''
Villas-Boas insists he cannot let any suggestions of his own position being under scrutiny detract him from the job at hand.
"The reality is that in the last years there was a pattern of managers shifting,'' said the 34-year-old. "In the end, you have to agree that from 2004 Chelsea has been massively successful. It has been the best period of Chelsea's history. Hopefully we can progress that within the three-year range with me here.''
Chelsea will again be without captain John Terry because of a knee injury this weekend.