Pereira: I will take Porto forward
New Porto coach Vitor Pereira believes the club can continue to grow and thrive despite the departure of his highly-rated predecessor Andre Villas-Boas.
Villas-Boas tendered his resignation with the Portuguese champions on Tuesday and is now poised to take over at Chelsea.
But Porto, who won a domestic double and the Europa League under Villas-Boas' stewardship last season, wasted no time in hiring his replacement, with erstwhile assistant coach Pereira elevated to the hotseat.
The 42-year-old is confident the loss of Villas-Boas can be overcome, insisting last season's treble cannot be wholly attributed to the leadership of Chelsea's manager-in-waiting.
"Who won was not Andre,'' Pereira said. "FC Porto was the structure and the exchange of experience between us was great. He drank from my experience and I drank of his.''
Porto won the domestic league with a record points haul last term, while their run to Europa League victory was highlighted by fluid, free-scoring attacking play. And Pereira is confident the good work will be maintained under his leadership.
"This is a legacy of which I was part, with which I am accustomed,'' he said. "Thankfully, the inheritance is great because this club is accustomed to great achievements.
"It has been a wonderful time and we will continue our work and we will continue to win and fulfil our destiny. FC Porto has the fundamental objective of winning the national championship, and for that we will work to produce a team with quality and character.''
Pereira added that his promotion to the role of coach represented the realisation of a long-held ambition.
"There is no better club than this, and at this club I want to succeed," he said. "I'm where I want to be and where I dreamed to be. I want to thank the president for his confidence and trust. We will work to enlarge the club. This club will continue to win.''
Club president Pinto da Costa described the appointment of Pereira as a pre-determined "natural succession''.
"I want to publicly wish all the best Victor Pereira,'' Da Costa said. "It is a natural succession, and was already planned. What happened [with Villas-Boas] is part of life and football. We admit that.
"For some time we had the assurance of Victor Pereira that if this happened, he would take the job on.''
Reflecting on the departure of Villas-Boas, whose split from the club was confirmed when Chelsea reportedly paid the 15million euro release clause in his contract, Da Costa added: "Villas-Boas had great merit and I pay tribute to his work.
"If you put a clause in then it can be exercised. It was part of the contract signed freely. I think he has the capacity to succeed at any club and I hope he has great success.''