- POSTED: 27 Sep 2013 08:39
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Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas insists he has nothing to prove when he comes up against his mentor Jose Mourinho for the first time on Saturday.
LONDON: Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas insists he has nothing to prove when he comes up against his mentor Jose Mourinho for the first time on Saturday.
Portuguese coach Villas-Boas learnt his trade under Mourinho as a member of his compatriot's coaching staff at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan.
The pair fell out when Villas-Boas decided to go it alone as a manager, but the Spurs chief is adamant he has no thoughts of vengeance ahead of Chelsea boss Mourinho's visit to White Hart Lane this weekend.
Tottenham will kick off in second place in the Premier League table with 12 points from five games -- two more than Chelsea, who have also suffered defeat at home to Basle in the Champions League.
That reverse, coupled with a domestic defeat at Everton, has increased the pressure on Mourinho, who won the Premier League in his first two seasons in his first spell at Chelsea.
Villas-Boas, who had a short-lived spell as manager at Stamford Bridge that ended with the sack in March 2012, believes both he and his old boss have proved their worth.
"Nobody has anything to prove," Villas-Boas said. "Jose's career speaks for itself. I am very proud of what I have done so far and what I have achieved.
"This Chelsea team are still being built around Jose's ideas. The team have changed dramatically since he has left.
"Some of the players are still the same but they have so many creative players now, so much technical flair.
"They are still building together as a team. With Jose's abilities, he will be able to fine-tune the team to another winning team because he's done that throughout his career."
Villas-Boas explained the reasons behind the end of his relationship with Mourinho, which came in 2009 when the latter refused to promote him.
"Our break-up point was because I was full of ambition to give him something extra and wanted further involvement to the job that I was doing at that time, which was scouting and match preparation," he said.
"I felt I could give him much more. He didn't feel the need for somebody near to him or as an assistant. Because of that, we decided it was time, after Inter Milan, to continue our careers."
Chelsea will be without midfielder Marco van Ginkel, who could be out for up to nine months after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in the League Cup victory at Swindon on Tuesday.
Fernando Torres scored the first in that 2-0 win but is likely to be replaced up front by Samuel Eto'o, even though the Cameroon forward has yet to score for Chelsea.
Despite that potential snub and continued speculation over his future, Torres remains confident he will be given sufficient opportunities to shine throughout the season.
"We have great strikers and all of us are going to score goals," he said. "It's nice to have this competition.
"The season is going to be long like the last one. There'll be time for all of us to play in important games and score some goals.
"The main thing is we keep winning. We are in the top four in the Premier League and we're all fighting to be in the line-up, to be in the squad.
"It is not easy but is good for the improvement of the team. There are players who have not been involved in the last few matches and the passion and character is plain to see."