Saturday, 17 December 2011

Andre Villa-Boas Is Urged Not To Concede Lampard Fight

Andre Villa-Boas is being urged not to cave in to the clamour to recall Frank Lampard.

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez reckons his Chelsea rival must stand strong in his fight to impose his will on the Blues if he wants to be a success at Stamford Bridge.

Martinez, 38, knows all about the pressure of a being a thirty-something manager in the Premier League having gone through a couple of tough years at the DW Stadium.

And he is urging Villa-Boas to stick to his guns in a battle of wills being fought out with the Stamford Bridge hero he has demoted to a subs role.

Martinez took over at Wigan at the age of 36, three years old than Villa-Boas is now, but still faced the problem of controlling a dressing room full of players older than himself.

And ahead of today's meeting between the two sides, he said: ``He’s been very impressive because he knows what he wants.

``He’s very strong in his ideas and football philosophy. For such a young man, he’s been really impressive.

``Nothing will change his beliefs and that will bring you trophies. I feel very strongly about that.

``It’s not just making tough calls, but making the right one.

``You see Frank Lampard and the goals he scores and coming on and scoring the winner. It’s not just about starting and not starting.

``You need to know what the player needs and what helps the team.

``In many ways, Andre always makes the right call for the team. And that’s a big strength. It’s not just about keeping people happy.

``In football there’s sometimes a quick fix but no long term plan. I just feel he has always remained true to his football philosophy.

``All the concepts and ideas have been very clear from the start. Now they are starting to do very well as a team and that’s a sign of someone that knows what he is doing.”

Martinez believes his rival is on the same pathway to success once trail-blazed by Pep Guardiola.

Spaniard Martinez suggests just like his fellow countryman, Villa-Boas can float through his career without suffering a major disappointment as manager.

He has already won domestic and European titles with Porto and is now hunting success in England.

Martinez said: ``He’s been working in football from a very young age and he’s been at top clubs for a long time.

``He had a phenomenal experience at Porto. To win trophies at any level is not easy. He’s young in age but in football terms he’s very experienced.

``Yes, he’s coming into a massive football club. But Pep Guardiola showed as long as you have strong beliefs you don’t need to suffer bad experiences to be successful.

``Chelsea are in a position not many people predicted, they have their concepts very strongly and they are ready to be strong in three competitions.

``Any big change, takes big transformations. Chelsea will have a big season.''

Chelsea are on a high having beaten Valencia and league leaders Manchester City in quick succession.

And Martinez concedes gaining anything from a run of games that feature Liverpool and Manchester United after today's clash is going to be a bonus.

He added: ``It’s a bad time to play them in terms of the confidence but I think when you’re playing a top side like Chelsea, there’s never a good time.

``That’s why you are in the Premier League. Many people tell me it’s a daunting task to play Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool in the next three games but for 15 years we’ve been working really hard to be in this position and I don’t feel it matters what we do in the next few games. We have to try to get points as we dropped too many early on.

``We are four or five points behind where we should be. The margins are very small. We can’t judge ourselves on the points we get against the top sides.

``If we can perform in the manner in which we can for 95 minutes, I’ll be happy and I’m sure the result will be positive.''

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