ANDRE Villas-Boas reckons Sunderland will be fine this season once their new signings bed in, writes GRAEME ANDERSON.
So the Chelsea boss was pleased to return to London on Saturday with the job done in a 2-1 win and mission accomplished so comfortably, and in such impressive style.
“It went very well for us in terms of what we want to achieve on a pitch,” admitted the 33-year-old, who looks more like an Armani male model than a typical Premier League manager.
“We’ve tried to play as well as that in our other three league games, too, but this time it worked for us in terms of the passing play that we work on in training.
“It wasn’t a bad time for us to play Sunderland because eventually they will find their rhythm again.
“They have added well to their squad from last season and it is only a matter of time before they start winning matches.
“At the moment though, they have a few injuries and also they have not found their best form.”
Villas-Boas’s main worry going into the game was not so much that Sunderland would find their form but that Chelsea’s would desert them on the back of so many of the club’s squad being off on demanding international duties across the globe.
“When you have a squad like ours, you are always concerned about international week because sometimes you can be left with only two or three players at your training ground,” added the Portuguese.
“Tiredness can play a part which is why I made as best use of my substitutions as I could and I think we mentally relaxed a little at 2-0 up when the fatigue hit us.”
He needn’t have worried unduly though.
Chelsea were a class above their opponents, as Villas-Boas acknowledged, and in Daniel Sturridge they had a young striker on top of his game.
“We deserved to win,” he shrugged. “We were very consistent in both halves and I was very happy with that.
“I thought we should have been leading by more than just the one goal at half-time, but we got a second early in the second half and that settled us down.
“We’re lucky to have four outstanding strikers who each offer us something different. Nicolas Anelka deserved his opportunity – it was a good decision to include him – and it was some finish from Sturridge for our second goal.
“To come back from international week and performing the way we did against Sunderland gives me great encouragement for the games we have coming up.”