sport

AVB responds to Redknapp jibe

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas insists Harry Redknapp is in no place to judge whether only a "dope" could fail to succeed Chelsea.

Saturday sees Villas-Boas go head to head with QPR boss Redknapp for the first time since the 35-year-old replaced the former Southampton manager in the White Hart Lane hot-seat last summer.

Redknapp, who was sacked in June despite leading Spurs to fourth, fifth, and fourth during his three full seasons in charge, appeared to aim a jibe at Villas-Boas earlier this season when he claimed that big dossiers - a staple of the Portuguese's management style - can "baffle" players.

Shortly after taking over at QPR in November, Redknapp then told a press conference before his team's game against Chelsea that only a "dope" could fail to succeed at the west London club with the riches and players on offer.

When asked what he thought of Redknapp's claims, Villas-Boas replied: "Only if you manage a club you are going to find out.

"You have to be able to access a club like that to experience it.

"It's a different type of club. You just have to experience it and to survive it."

Redknapp may be one of the most sociable managers in the country, but Villas-Boas, who came across the 65-year-old when Chelsea played Spurs last season, revealed on Thursday that he has never really talked to his predecessor.

"I've never spoken to him," Villas-Boas said. "We shook hands in the beginning of Tottenham-Chelsea but... no, I've never spoken to him."

Villas-Boas was determined to succeed after being brought in to replace Carlo Ancelotti last summer, but amid reports of unrest among the playing staff, the former Porto boss was sacked after less than nine months in charge.

The Spurs boss could be forgiven for thinking he is better off out of Stamford Bridge given what has gone on since he left.

Despite landing the one trophy Roman Abramovich craved the most - the Champions League - Roberto Di Matteo lasted just eight months before being removed and it has been far from plain sailing for his successor Rafael Benitez.

The Spaniard was subjected to the latest in a series of barrackings on Wednesday night from the home support as Chelsea lost 2-0 to Swansea in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final.

Villas-Boas admits he feels under far less pressure at Spurs, who currently sit one place above the Blues in the Barclays Premier League.

"I was booed. It's a consequence of the demands of the job," Villas-Boas said.

"Chelsea is a high-profile club where media attention is high and everything is scrutinised and it's a different type of environment.

"This is a high-profile club but with different circumstances, different players, and different objectives and not so much media attention.

"Through the years Chelsea have had eight or nine managers.

"This club has found a little bit more stability in management recently."