x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Villas-Boas keen to foster empathy at Chelsea

'Mini Mourinho' maintains that creating harmony on and off the field is instrumental to success and says his door will always be open for his squad.

Villas-Boas is also called as Mini Mourinho.
Villas-Boas is also called as Mini Mourinho.

Andre Villas-Boas maintains that creating harmony on and off the field is instrumental to success in the modern game and said his door will always be open to his new Chelsea squad.

The Portuguese coach is only 33, but he capped a remarkable rise from the back-room staff at Stamford Bridge under Jose Mourinho, the former manager, to the top job when he was appointed successor to Carlo Ancelotti on Wednesday.

Villas-Boas never made his mark as a player, but his approach was successful at Porto, a team he guided to a domestic double and the Europa League titles last season before filling the vacancy in west London after a €15 million (Dh79.2m) release clause in his contract was paid.

Meeting the high demands of Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, will be a challenge for the youngest manager in the English top flight. However, Villas-Boas is aware of the importance of communication with his players.

"We are very open-minded, we are open to them, to their problems and not only the problems they face on the pitch but their problems they face in their day-to-day life," he told Chelsea TV.

"We are not just managers of the game, we are people who understand the person as a whole. This is something that we feel can have a good impact."

Just as Mourinho did when he arrived from Porto in 2004, Villas-Boas is expected to raid his former club for top performers, such as Falcao, the 38-goal striker, and Joao Moutinho, the playmaker.

However, Villas-Boas insists it is a case of evolution, not revolution at Stamford Bridge - where Ancelotti completed a league and FA Cup double just 12 months before his dismissal.

"The tremendous success Carlo had here, the magnificent two years he spent here, we want to build on from that," he said.

"Carlo has left for this club some important things, and we want to continue building from where he left. There will be no big radical impact or big radical rupture.

"I want to feel everybody together in this project and continue with the magnificent work Carlo left behind. The natural progression for this club is to keep winning and that's what I want to do."

He added: "This is a new leadership, a new communication, a new way of being, but I think in the end it all ends up in the motivation everyone must feel to continue to win for the club.

"It is good to be back at a club where I know the people around and hopefully we can start the season with a tremendous impact with staff, players and this new empathy that I want to bring."

* Press Association