Cotterill hopes for fruitful relationship

New Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas
New Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas
Matt Clarke celebrates his goal at MK Dons. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Steve Cotterill believes he may have forged a fruitful relationship with new Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas.

The Portuguese manager joined the Pompey boss in his office before their respective Blues engaged in combat at Fratton Park on Saturday.

The pair enjoyed a friendly discussion before Chelsea ran out 1-0 winners in the pre-season fixture, as Villas-Boas demonstrated the strength in depth he possesses.

And he later revealed he is open to the idea of handing some of his talented prospects vital first-team experience at Fratton Park during the forthcoming campaign.

Villas-Boas said: ‘When we get back from our tour to Asia, decisions will have to be taken over some of our younger players for the new season.

‘I had a chance to speak to Steve Cotterill and we exchanged a couple of ideas.

‘Portsmouth is an emblematic club with this support that everyone knows. Pompey is famous for it.

‘So it depends. There is always plenty of interest for Chelsea players but it’s up to Portsmouth and ourselves to make that decision and to make sure the players are happy.’

Of the youngsters on show, left-back pair Ryan Bertrand and Patrick van Aanholt might be on Pompey’s transfer radar, with only Hermann Hreidarsson as a recognised left-back at the club at present.

And Cotterill grinned as his role as a welcoming host may have paid dividends.

He said: ‘That cup of tea might have worked then!

‘The quicker I get back for that glass of red wine with him, the better.

‘We had a chat before the game about a few things. He’s a really nice guy – it was refreshing. I hope he does well.’

Cotterill has already indicated he would like five more players to join the ranks for the new season.

But no new faces were on the plane as the squad jetted out to America yesterday.

Burnley striker Martin Paterson is believed to be a target but Clarets boss Eddie Howe insisted he was not for sale last week.

And Cotterill refused to be drawn on speculation.

He said: ‘There’s a lot of talk going on and it’s not coming from us.

‘It’s been in newspapers but there is nothing to gain from making it public you are after any player because all you do is alert everybody else.

‘There is no comment on any player we might be going for, simply because it isn’t the way I do business.

‘We won’t be doing that. All the speculation can be talked about elsewhere but it certainly won’t be coming from us.’

Meanwhile, the Blues boss is relishing the chance for some intensive training with his squad in America.

He said: ‘We’re really happy with how things are going.

‘It’s good to go away for a couple of weeks to top the lads up on fitness and have a bit more training time.’