AVB: United match will not decide the whole season
Published 14:00 16/09/11 By Martin Lipton
Andre Villas-Boas today insisted nothing will be decided by Chelsea's trip to Old Trafford.
Villas-Boas takes his team back to the ground where their trophy dreams were shattered twice in a matter of weeks last season two points adrift of 100 per cent Manchester United.
But the Portuguese, who ruled Didier Drogba out of the equation for Sunday's clash, was adamant that it would be utterly wrong to draw radical conclusion from 90 minutes five games into the campaign.
Villas-Boas said: "I don't think we should be judged on this game, I don't think so. It's the fifth game of the season, and it's still early.
"If any manager is judged after five games of a season, there's not something wrong with the manager but something wrong with the people who run clubs.
"We have made a good, strong start and the game comes at a good time for us. Both teams feel very motivated and strong, so hopefully this will be enough for the spectacle to be excellent, which all of us should hope for.
"When there is this high expectancy for a game, sometimes things go the other way and it's boring and tactical but that's not the culture of the Premier League.
"It will be a high intensity game fuelled by emotion. Anything that comes out of this game won't mean anything in the long-term.
"It might play to the motivation to the team who wins, or both if we draw, but let's wait and see."
The Chelsea boss added: "Whatever happens in the game is not decisive - because of the pattern of the past.
"Focus on statistics and history, as you do with my striker (Fernando Torres), and look at the Premier League; see how many points United were behind Newcastle 10 or 15 years ago, or Chelsea were last season.
"It's early doors. In my small experience in this life, and observing the behaviour of the league, it won't be determinate for the table. I just want my team to be focused and confident. It will be a very big challenge, but there are good signs from us that we can try to take some points from this game."
Quizzed over Torres, who has scored just one goal in 23 appearances since his £50million move from Liverpool in January, Villas-Boas was decidedly coy.
"Let's wait and see," he said. "I really cannot go further than that.
"I'm just very, very happy with what the team did on Tuesday against Leverkusen. I'm pretty happy with the collective behaviour. I will not help you with your obsession with my striker.
"It's good to have everybody fit. To be fair to you, my worst day is the day I have to make selections and I have to pick my team first, then the 18. When everybody is so good, you can almost become sentimental, but it takes a bit of my heart out."