AVB: Players' openness key to success
Andre Villas-Boas has suggested that his Tottenham players have been more prepared "commit to his ideas" than Chelsea's stars were during his turbulent spell as their manager last season.
Villas-Boas is set to make his first return to the Stamford Bridge touchline this Wednesday for a game that may well be decisive in his side's hopes of securing a top-four finish.
A rare Tottenham victory at Chelsea will keep alive their dreams of securing a Champions League return, and Villas-Boas has claimed the players he is working with this season are far more receptive than those who were under his command a little over a year ago.
"It becomes easier when the players are willing to commit to your ideas, they need to be able to take something from learning new things and also enjoy learning new things that they can use in their game," Villas-Boas is quoted in The Sun.
"All the players have received me well (at Tottenham) and when you receive that sort of openness, you can create a good environment. I've been very well received by everybody, particularly this group of players, whose drive and ambition towards achieving results has been tremendous.
"The Chelsea experience allowed me to see things in a different way and helped me address the mistakes I made. That always allows you to develop on a personal and a professional level.
"The experiences of managing Chelsea and Spurs are different and I learned a great lesson from last year. There are things I do dramatically different and things that I do exactly the same because you still have to stay true to your principles."
Villas-Boas' belief that he has been able to have a bigger impact on the Tottenham players than he was allowed to have by the big-name stars he inherited at Chelsea will hardly come as surprising news, yet he went on to concede the Spurs side he is moulding is a long way from being the finished article.
"There are always things to refine," he added. "It can be difficult sometimes because the nature of the Premier League means it is driven by passion and emotion.
"Sometimes it can be difficult to set out your philosophy but, like every other team, we have had great games and bad games, and games where we should have expressed ourselves better.
"In the end, however, we have always been recognised as a team that has always been very driven, that wants to score and that is the Tottenham way."