Sturridge - AVB here to stay
Daniel Sturridge insists he and his team-mates have no doubt that Andre Villas-Boas will see out his three-year project at Chelsea.
Last Updated: 06/12/11 8:45am
Daniel Sturridge insists he and his Chelsea team-mates have no doubt that Andre Villas-Boas will see out his three-year project at Stamford Bridge.
Despite having made the worst start of any manager since Roman Abramovich bought the Blues, Villas-Boas appears to have the backing of the billionaire Russian to overhaul the squad in pursuit of a more attractive style of play.
The 34-year-old flexed his muscles last week by banishing Nicolas Anelka and Alex from his first-team squad after both submitted transfer requests.
And striker Sturridge was in no doubt on Monday night who was in charge, insisting the type of stability a long stay for Villas-Boas would provide was just what Chelsea needed.
He said: "The manager's approach is great. The attacking style he's trying to implement in the squad, it does work. In the future, you'll see that it works.
"The team will play attractive football. We've just been unlucky with the way we've conceded a few goals.
"But we're still a strong unit, we'll continue to be a strong unit, and we will be in the future. We'll always work for him and try hard for him.
"We know he'll be the manager for the next three years. We're not worried about any other manager coming in because we know he's going to be here for those three years."
Sturridge, 22, looks set to play a key part in that revolution, especially with Anelka set to leave in January and Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou both out of contract next summer.
"On a personal note, it's good to be playing in the team," said Sturridge, who hailed the influence Anelka has had on his career, starting from their days together at Manchester City.
"I always will have respect for the likes of Nico. He's helped me so much from my first training session at Man City.
"I remember looking up and thinking, 'Wow, I'm training with Nicolas Anelka'.
"I'll always have that respect for all those senior players."
Those players are not used to having to fight for their UEFA Champions League futures in a final group game decider, as they will against Valencia on Tuesday.
But Sturridge said: "The players we have in the squad are used to playing in big games.
"They've played in World Cups, Champions League finals and semi-finals. The players are well prepared for this."