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AVB focused on welcoming five

Manager dismisses fallout with players

By | 16th February 2012

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has made headlines today after confessing that certain players of the Blues’ squad are losing faith in his methods but to prepare adequately for Saturday’s FA Cup clash against Birmingham City, the boss has quickly shifted focus to the return of several key members of the side.

Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou are returning from international duty with Ivory Coast while Ramires, Ashley Cole, and John Terry are on their way to returning from injuries.

The absence of the latter has been felt particularly in recent games, with the Chelsea’s leaky defense suffering the latest disappointment of the season in the infamous 2-0 defeat at Everton on Saturday.

As Terry returns to the side for the first time since he was stripped of the England captaincy, which was followed promptly by manager Fabio Capello’s resignation, Villas-Boas hopes to regain some much-needed stability in the back.

“John Terry completed his first full training session today for a week,” the manager told Chelsea’s official website with excitement.

Acknowledging the need for Terry to gradually ease back into the system without aggravating the knock, AVB added: “But with such a short distance between the two games, we must be careful. If he plays against Birmingham, then he may not be able to make the Napoli game (in the Champions League) so we haven’t made a decision yet.”

Speaking of the Everton fixture, it was disappointing for the Blues beyond just the result, as they also lost Cole for this weekend’s match.

Midfielder Ramires, meanwhile, is ready to play and Villas-Boas was relieved to cut his losses as the return of the instrumental Brazilian playmaker somewhat makes up for left-back Cole’s absence.

“Ashley Cole’s injury is coming along and he has a chance of making the Napoli game, probably a 50/50 chance, but Ramires is back and ready to play,” Villas-Boas asserted.

When asked about bolstering the attack, where Fernando Torres has been ineffective and Daniel Sturridge has been increasingly frustrated, the gaffer continued: “Kalou will be back in training tomorrow, Drogba the following day, but on Saturday I will need to decide between Torres and (Romelu) Lukaku.”

Lastly, the manager also clarified that the Chelsea squad’s recent showdown meeting with concerned owner Roman Abramovich did not end in a fallout with his players.

Instead, the 34-year old Villas-Boas believes that the disagreement between members of a top European club are only signs of ambition.

“There were not strong words, basically there was a meeting, but it was nothing dramatic. We all understand we need to do more, our run of results hasn’t been impressive but the responsibility is shared. If you’re able to gain strength, you can go on a good run but we need actions more than anything,” he concluded.



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