Villas-Boas rules out Alex recall
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has defended his refusal to "dial 911" for Alex as a matter of principle.
That is despite a potential injury crisis and Villas-Boas' previous claims that defender Alex - and striker Nicolas Anelka - could yet earn a recall to his first-team squad. If ever there was a time to bring Alex in from the cold, it is now, with Chelsea potentially down to just one fit centre-half for today's west London derby with Fulham.
However, Villas-Boas insisted he would rather play Jose Bosingwa, Paulo Ferreira or Oriol Romeu out of position than turn to a man he banished from his squad for submitting a transfer request. "He's not going to play," Villas-Boas said.
"Because we have accepted a transfer request in anticipation of the market and we are not stupid people. We don't push out people who submit transfer requests and put people apart to then dial 911 and ask for help.
"So, at the moment, we will stick to our principles and to our values. It was a decision we thought was good for the club. The request was accepted, so we have to let the market open and we have to continue to adapt ourselves if situations like this continue to arise."
Asked if he now regretted acting so hastily with Alex, Villas-Boas said: "That was a decision that we felt sensible and competent at that time and we will stick to it."
Villas-Boas reiterated why Alex and Shanghai Shenhua-bound Anelka were banished in the first place, with the decision also partly a response to Chelsea's worst start to a season since Roman Abramovich bought the club.
He said: "We went on that run of results and we wanted everybody on the same tune regarding training and the same tune in terms of commitment, concentration and objectives - immediate club objectives. So it was not a thing to penalise anybody. It was just to fine tune the environment that we have."
The Chelsea boss was also coy over Alex's desire to leave, something that would appear to stem from his slide down the pecking order to third choice as John Terry's partner.
"Everybody has ambitions," Villas-Boas said. "We are speaking about an extremely professional player and personality and I think he had his personal ambitions and that's why we accepted."