Villas-Boas keen to escape Mourinho shadow

LONDON - Andre Villas-Boas knows comparisons with Jose Mourinho are inevitable but he was quick to distance himself from his former boss during his first news conference as Chelsea manager on Wednesday.

The pair are Portuguese, both used to coach Porto, claim late England manager Bobby Robson as an inspiration and have enjoyed huge early successes before moving to Stamford Bridge.

Villas-Boas however can escape Mourinho's shadow by doing something the 'Special One' did not do at Chelsea - win the Champions League.

He also offered a more humble assessment of himself than Mourinho did when he arrived in West London in 2004.

While Mourinho, who had just won the Champions League with Porto, described himself the 'Special One' on his arrival, Villas-Boas took a more inclusive approach, saying he was the 'Group One' when asked what tag he would like.

He added: "I will wait for you guys to give me my title when I am successful.

"This is not a one-man show, this is about creating empathy, motivations and ambitions in everybody. Not only the players but the staff that surround me and everyone in this organisation.

"Maybe I should be called the 'Group One' as I want to group people together and be successful. I am just one gear in this big club," said Villas-Boas who succeeded Carlo Ancelotti earlier this month.

Villas-Boas, who is only 33 and was one of Mourinho's backroom staff at Chelsea until they left in 2007, said he had not spoken to the Real Madrid coach about his new job.

"We are two busy people in this football world," he said before adding he expected to be compared to his former mentor especially as Mourinho did so well at Chelsea, winning two Premier League titles.

Asked if he would like to go through a news conference without Mourinho's name being mentioned, he said: "It would be wrong of you not to."


Pulling up an imaginary chair, he added: "It's like he's sitting here next to me, that he is here. He is part of the history of this club".

Villas-Boas, though, knows he will be judged on what he himself does and in a long 70-minute conference he suggested there would be exciting times ahead at the Bridge where he has become the seventh manager in eight years.

"We need to be up there at the top from the very beginning, winning every week and challenging for the title," said the Portuguese.

"It's not just a question of taking on Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United but Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham and Liverpool, there are a lot of good clubs in the Premier League.

"It is not one man against the other, it's about trying to build something that can make us powerful and help us threaten for the title. The expectations at this club are at the maximum, we have to challenge for trophies.

"The advantage we have at Chelsea is we are able to move in the transfer market for the best players in the world and that's what we will do."

Villas-Boas said it was important Chelsea played the game the right way.

"It's not just a case of winning, it's about winning with flair," he