Villas-Boas forced to answer Abramovich questions

Thu, 23 Feb 17:50:24 2012

Under-pressure Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has revealed that he had to explain his team selection to Roman Abramovich's advisers following the club's 3-1 defeat to Napoli.

Villas-Boas left out experienced campaigners Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Michael Essien for the Champions League last 16 clash in Italy, preferring instead to field Raul Meireles, Jose Bosingwa and Florent Malouda.

The move backfired as the Blues went on to suffer the first-leg loss which nudged them close to the exit of the competition Abramovich craves so much. The team selection caused apparent disharmony, with Lampard reportedly unhappy at his omission.

The Portuguese bullishly defended his actions on Thursday, however, but did admit that he had had to explain his team selection to Abramovich's inner circle.

"I have not spoken to him (Abramovich), I have spoken to persons near to him," Villas-Boas said. "He is disappointed about the result and (was) asking questions about how we set up the team and they were duly explained.

"I spoke to the people close to the owner to transmit the message, people like (club director) Michael Emenalo. That is the normal way we communicate. He just wants to know the thought process. I don't have any regrets regarding the team selection... It was completely right."


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