Andre Villas-Boas insists he does not fear for his job and still has the full confidence of the Tottenham board, despite Sunday’s 6-0 defeat at Manchester City.
The Portuguese was said to be on the verge of the sack after the disastrous defeat, which came despite a €132m summer spending spree on the likes of Roberto Soldado, Erik Lamela and Paulinho. Yet he insists the club are fully behind him despite worries over whether he has spent the money accrued from the world-record sale of Gareth Bale wisely.
Villas-Boas was speaking in Tromso, northern Norway, where victory would secure Tottenham top spot in Europa League Group K. Yet the future of the 36-year-old was the main topic of conversation, with Villas-Boas having to reaffirm his belief that the club would not dispense with his services after just 16 months in charge.
The manager attended a scheduled board meeting on Monday and he is adamant that chairman Daniel Levy has no intention of firing him.
“I have the confidence of the board. I have the confidence of my players and I have to move on to do a proper job,” said Villas-Boas.
“The only conversation we (he and the board) had recently was two or three days ago, very, very briefly about the game. The board is of the same opinion that everything went wrong and we hope to get some response.
“It was an ordinary meeting. Will he (Levy) back me in public? No. No. No. That’s not his style, and neither do I ask for things like that.”
The manager was in fighting form in this outpost some 350kms inside the Arctic Circle. Tromso have just been relegated from the Norwegian top flight and the sun will not rise here until mid-January — but Villas-Boas insists he has been through far worse, most notably in his time at Chelsea.
He added: “I am immune right now. I used to read a lot into situations like this, into pressure points when I was at Chelsea. But not any more. I am very, very indifferent. There is only one quarter that I come under pressure from, which is the press.
“I was not treated properly (while at Chelsea) by people and I got various opinion-makers and column writers that wrote so many lies that if I had any chance that I was liable to sue, that is something that would give me extreme pleasure. But you know. It is part of the job, it is something that I have to take on. The amount of things that I have received when I was Chelsea manager was completely unfair and untrue. It comes with a high profile job I suppose.”
Victory in Tromso would do little to ease the pressure on the manager. Sunday’s game against Manchester United looms large. A defeat like that at the Etihad can stain a manager’s career if they do not respond quickly.
“Normally to big teams when things like this (a 6-0 defeat) happen, they happen once every 10 or 20 years.
“All people who were involved in this difficult experience, all of us feel sad and shamed for having taken part in it. The only thing now we can do is avoid a slip up of this nature.
“We want to forget about the result, but for that to happen we need to get into a streak of wins that enables us not only to finish first in the Europa League but also keep pushing forward for those Champions League spots in the Premier League. We are not far off from the Champions League spots. So it can all change dramatically. We just have to be focused on trying to get into winning ways as soon as possible.”
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