Cresswell focused on replay

Cresswell focused on replay

Published Jan. 15, 2013 7:15 a.m. ET

Andre Villas-Boas admits he is using his Tottenham reign as an opportunity to right the wrongs of his now infamous stint at Chelsea.

The Portuguese tactician was appointed at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2011 as the most highly-rated young coach in Europe - having shone at Porto.

He was, however, to last just nine months before being shown the door by an unforgiving Roman Abramovich.

Villas-Boas wasted little time in returning to the Premier League when invited back by Spurs, and he feels he is better prepared to face the challenges of life in England second time around.


He told France Football: "What we are doing at Tottenham with my staff is a reaction to Chelsea, an echo to the mistakes we made.

"Not everything we did there was wrong, but we could have done better. It has not affected the way I am viewing football, but I admit I thought a lot about it.

"I should have been given an opportunity to go on, but I am aware that, considering the results, change is the only way to make an impact.

"I would never have gone to Chelsea if I was not absolutely convinced that I could have been a success there."


Meanwhile, Villas-Boas has taken the opportunity to explain his handling of French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, an international performer and captain of his country who has had to be patient in his efforts to earn a starting berth.

He added: "The arrival of Hugo Lloris was a difficult situation. We didn't want to be unfair. The ones who play have to deserve it with their performances.

"When Hugo arrived, he did so with an eye on the future. His qualities were never questioned, but Brad (Friedel) was doing very well at that time.

"It didn't mean that I doubted Hugo, I just wanted him to stand out on merit, not on reputation.

"It was difficult for Hugo. He is a famous and well respected player. He is the best of the French keepers. It was difficult for him to accept and I admit that it may have made him impatient at times."

The two sides will go head-to-head in their third-round replay at Griffin Park after the Shrimpers came back from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw in the initial meeting.

Southend knocked their League One opponents out of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at the start of December and are now gunning for a cup double for the right to face the reigning European champions and FA Cup holders, yet defender Cresswell is focused firmly on Tuesday night's tie.

"Brentford are a good side, they haven't lost at home since August," he said.

"And I think the last team who beat them at all was us last month, so it's going to be a tough game.

"Hopefully we can put one over on them and then obviously there's that tie at the end of that which everyone's thinking about. But first and foremost it's all about Brentford."

Cresswell did however allow himself to get a little excited when seeing Chelsea's name emerge from the hat.

"Obviously my first reaction was 'bloody hell, that's a fantastic draw'. It's the best draw I've every had in the FA Cup, that's for sure," he added.

"But, like I say, we can't get carried away because we've got a very tough game coming up against Brentford, they're a good team and by no means are they just going to turn up and let us win, they've seen the draw and they want that big tie as well."