Villas-Boas calls for ruthless streak
Andre Villas-Boas accepts Chelsea must become more efficient if they are to pressure the Premier League leaders. The fourth-placed Blues missed the opportunity to close on the sides above them after a goalless draw at Norwich City, where Fernando Torres again failed to find the net.
With leaders Manchester City hosting Tottenham Hotspur today and Manchester United travelling to Arsenal, it was perhaps an opportunity wasted. Villas-Boas believes his side - who had won back-to-back games heading into the trip to Carrow Road - must be more clinical.
"We are in the top three teams for creating chances, but the efficiency was not there and this represents where we are in the table," the Chelsea manager said. "We have to find the consistency for us to get on a winning run which can make this title challenge a little bit more, that is the reality. It is not going to be a lack of ambition or motivation. There is always motivation when you play for a top club."
Villas-Boas refused to lay the blame on the shoulders of Torres, who saw a first-half effort turned around the post by a brilliant full-stretch save from John Ruddy before, on the hour, dragging his shot wide from eight yards. "He has been doing excellent things for the team, it does not matter who scores," the Chelsea boss said. "All of the players did everything in their power to try to win at Norwich."
While the rest of the squad jetted out to Mallorca for some warm-weather training ahead of the FA Cup tie against QPR, midfielder Frank Lampard remained in London to have tests on a calf injury which saw him substituted in the first half. Villas-Boas had decided to leave new signing Gary Cahill out of the matchday squad at Norwich, but feels the centre-half will be fully integrated next week.
"With Cahill, there are certain principles that take time to assimilate bearing in mind our defensive organisation. He had trained hard for four days and did extremely well," the Chelsea manager said. "We decided for [Branislav] Ivanovic on the bench because he offers the possibility of right-back and centre-back, but I am sure Gary is going to be in contention for QPR."
Chelsea have been linked with a move for Shakhtar Donetsk's Brazilian frontman Willian, but Villas-Boas maintained he was not set to move for the 23-year-old. The Portuguese coach said: "Willian is a very interesting player, but he is cup tied in the Champions League. I don't think we should go for players who cannot be involved in all the competitions. We are not stressed regarding what we can do in this transfer window. If a good opportunity arises, we could study it, but at the moment, we are very satisfied."