Villas-Boas relishing Drogba return
Andre Villas-Boas is confident Didier Drogba's latest CAF Africa Cup of Nations heartache will not spill over into his Chelsea performances.
Drogba is back in London, having been given leave to return to his native Côte d’Ivoire after their shattering final defeat to Zambia last Sunday. The 33-year-old remains revered in his homeland, despite another penalty miss which cost his country the chance of glory.
Drogba, who also failed from the spot in the 2006 shoot-out loss against Egypt, blazed high over the crossbar during normal time on Sunday before Côte d’Ivoire once again went on to lose in the cruellest manner.
The veteran striker otherwise had a fine tournament, finishing joint-top scorer with three goals to maintain the form that saw him oust Fernando Torres from the Chelsea team towards the end of last year.
With Torres having failed so far to find the net during his team-mate's eight-week absence, Drogba will doubtless be expecting to walk straight into the side for Tuesday's UEFA Champions League game at Napoli.
Manager Villas-Boas is sure that Drogba will quickly move on from Sunday's disappointment. "I think so and ready to help the team," he said. "A player of his quality and so much involved with Chelsea in the past will always help. In the month of December, he had an extremely good impact. He is a major player for us."
Villas-Boas revealed he spoke to Drogba the day after the final, adding: "It is obviously a major disappointment for him. To what extent personally, I don't know.
"I think there were great prospects for the Ivory Coast to get that trophy for their country. It was not possible with the lottery of penalties and, of course, a major disappointment for them with the dimension of the players that they have."