Manager Andre Villas-Boas believes his Chelsea bosses really would have lost the plot if he ended up being judged on the outcome of Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash at Manchester United.
Villas-Boas insisted nothing would be decided by this weekend's showdown at Old Trafford in terms of the title race and also played down the significance of his first touchline confrontation with Sir Alex Ferguson.
"Any manager who is judged after five games of a season, there's not something wrong with the manager but something wrong with the people who run clubs," said Villas-Boas, who is all too aware Roman Abramovich is not the most patient of owners.
Sunday's game arguably represents the biggest challenge of Villas-Boas' fledgling managerial career. The 33-year-old has been at the top of his profession for barely two years and will be squaring off against a man who will celebrate 25 years in charge of United in less than two months.
"Anything that comes out of this game won't mean anything," a relaxed Villas-Boas added at Friday's pre-match press conference. "It might play to the motivation to the team who wins, or both if we draw, but let's wait and see."
United have flown out of the blocks this season, surpassing Chelsea's record-breaking start by notching 18 goals in four straight Premier League wins.
"It's for all of us to praise when a team starts the way they have," said the Chelsea boss.
"We have made a good, strong start in the Premier League.
"This game comes at a good time for us. Both teams feel very motivated and strong, so hopefully this will be enough for the spectacle to be excellent, which all of us should hope for.
"When there is this high expectancy for a game, sometimes things go the other way and it's boring and tactical. But that's not the culture of the Premier League. It will be a high-intensity game fuelled by emotion."
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