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Jul 25, 2011

Villas-Boas: Age doesn't matter

Andre Villas-Boas has hit back at managerial rival Sir Alex Ferguson and claimed that he has total faith in his squad's ability to challenge for honours.

Following Ferguson's public declaration that Chelsea fans would be concerned with Villas-Boas' inability to add any major signings in an attempt to rejuvenate his squad - while highlighting their 'experience' - the new Chelsea boss shrugged off the criticism and backed his side to succeed.

Speaking after his side's 4-0 victory over Thailand All Stars, Villas-Boas said: "These players still have a lot to offer. Just look at the trophies they have won and how successful they have been.

"Chelsea are the second or third oldest team in the Premier League and I must respect the recovery periods of the older players. So I must find the correct balance between experience and youth and find out what kind of game we can play."

Given Chelsea's recent signing of Barcelona youngster Oriol Romeu and the continued emergence of Josh McEachran, Villas-Boas may yet develop a new-look side.

A key figure from the more youthful side of Chelsea's squad will be McEachran, who his part in the moment of the game against the All Stars. The youngster exchanged a slick one-two for Branislav Ivanovic to score, and Villas-Boas is clearly impressed.

"Josh offers this flexibility, he's an amazing British talent for the future and can go on a run and get plenty of experience in the Premier League," said the Portuguese. "Josh has to show he is competitive and perform with the others. We need the collective to perform.

"Choices will be made according to form and injuries - there will be plenty of opportunities for everybody. It's all in his brain. He anticipates problems, his speed of thought. He has this kind of capacity, to anticipate things."

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