Andre Villas-Boas insists he retains backing of Tottenham board
Speculation over future of manager came after 6-0 drubbing by Man City
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas and Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini on the sidelines during the Premier League game at the Etihad Stadium. Photograph: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Manager Andre Villas-Boas came out fighting in the fjords on Wednesday night, insisting that he retains the full backing of the Tottenham board and players despite the club’s recent dip in form.
If he had read Wednesday morning’s papers, Villas-Boas would have seen claims that his position is under threat following Sunday’s 6-0 thrashing at Manchester City.
After a flurry of bets, one bookmaker made Villas-Boas odds-on favourite to become the next top-flight manager to lose his job, but the Portuguese is adamant his position is secure.
The former Chelsea manager, who spent £130 million in the summer, admits the Spurs board aired their misgivings about the defeat at the Etihad Stadium to him in a meeting after the game.
But the Spurs boss bristled at suggestions he was on the verge of the sack at a tense press conference 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle.
“I have the confidence of the board. I have the confidence of my players and I have to move on to do a proper job,” the Tottenham manager said.
Villas-Boas did concede that the board were unhappy with how the team performed in Manchester, however.
Spurs went behind in the first minute thanks to a mistake from Hugo Lloris, and they collapsed to their worst defeat since 1996.
“The only conversation (the board and I) had recently was two or three days ago,” Villas-Boas added.
“The board is of the same opinion that everything went wrong and we hope to get some response in the future.
“It was an ordinary meeting. We only spoke very briefly about the game.”
His chairman, Daniel Levy, has not come out to publicly back Villas-Boas, and the Portuguese does not want him to either.
“No. No. That’s not his style, and neither do I ask for things like that,” Villas-Boas said.
With Tottenham already through to the knockout stages of the Europa League, Thursday’s game against Tromso had done little to grab the nation’s attention.
But the speculation surrounding Villas-Boas’s future has ramped up the interest in the game, which will take place on the artificial surface of the Alfheim Stadium.
Although the local population stands at around 50,000, Tromso are expecting 6,000 fans through the turnstiles despite the sub-zero temperatures in this tiny Norwegian city surrounded by jaw-dropping snow-covered fjords.
Still, Villas-Boas did not seem fazed by the speculation as he says he has become used to rumours and gossip since moving to England for his ill-fated spell with Chelsea.