Villas-Boas says he's learned Chelsea lessons

LONDON (AFP) - Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas reckons he has made major changes to the way he manages following the "mistakes" of his time at Chelsea.

Villas-Boas returns to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday for the first time since he was sacked by Blues owner Roman Abramovich barely nine months into his three-year "project" with the Blues.

Rumours of player unrest were never far removed from the Portuguese during his time at Stamford Bridge where his plans to start leaving out senior players such as Frank Lampard and John Terry were not well received.

However, that didn't stop Chelsea's London rivals Tottenham Hotspur bringing in Villas-Boas as a replacement for Harry Redknapp and he has since gone on to become a well-liked figure at White Hart Lane.

"The experiences (of managing Chelsea and Spurs) are different and I learnt a great lesson from last year," Villas-Boas said in an interview with Yahoo. "There are things I do dramatically different and things that I do exactly the same because you still have to stay true to your principles.

"The Chelsea experience allowed me to see things in a different way and helped me address the mistakes I made; that always allows you to develop on a personal and a professional level." Although Spurs may yet fail to finish in the Premier League's top four, and so qualify for Champions League football next term, Villas-Boas has enjoyed the current campaign.

"On a personal note the season has been good for me. I've found it extremely good here," the former Porto boss said.

"It was good to be back in England after last year. I've been very well received by everybody, particularly this group of players whose drive and ambition towards achieving results has been tremendous.

"It becomes easier when the players are willing to commit to your ideas, they need to be able to take something from learning new things, and also enjoy learning new things that they can use in their game.

"All the players have received me well and when you receive that sort of openness you can create a good environment." In March, Tottenham were seven points ahead of arch-rivals Arsenal but a poor run of form sees them trailing the Gunners by two points, though, they have a game in hand.

"There are always things to refine," said Villas-Boas. "It can be difficult sometimes because the nature of the Premier League means it is driven by passion and emotion.

"So, sometimes it can be difficult to set out your philosophy but like every other team we have had great games and bad games, and games where we should have expressed ourselves better.

"In the end, however, we have always been recognised as a team that has always been very driven, that wants to score and that is the Tottenham way."

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