Villas-Boas seeks Swansea success

Updated: 30 January 2012 11:00 IST

Andre Villas-Boas has admitted Chelsea's targets have changed this season and now his side's immediate priority is to close the gap on third-placed Tottenham Hotspur with victory at Swansea on Tuesday.

Villas-Boas seeks Swansea success
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London:

Andre Villas-Boas has admitted Chelsea's targets have changed this season and now his side's immediate priority is to close the gap on third-placed Tottenham Hotspur with victory at Swansea on Tuesday.

The Blues manager has said the Premier League title is now beyond the club in but a 1-0 fourth round win over Queens Park Rangers maintained Chelsea's interest in the FA Cup - and their Champions League campaign will resume at the end of next month.

In the league, though, Villas-Boas's team lies fourth and now they face a strong challenge for a top four finish from Arsenal, Newcastle United and Liverpool who are currently on the fringes of the leading group.

"We are within a five-point margin from the third-placed team and five points more than Arsenal in fifth," said Villas-Boas. "It's important to try and reach the top and go to Swansea fully motivated," the Portuguese added.

"They lost to Sunderland but are on a good run, plus they are one of the teams that play fantastic football."

"It should build up to an exciting game, and it's important for us to show consistency in the away games but do better than at Norwich (where Chelsea drew 0-0)."

Swansea have impressed at home this season but the trip will be less charged than Chelsea's short journey to QPR's Loftus Road.

That game marked the first meeting between John Terry and Anton Ferdinand since the Chelsea skipper was accused of racially abusing the Rangers man.

Terry's case will be heard at West London Magistrates Court the day after the Swansea clash but Villas-Boas has no doubt his captain's focus will remain unaffected.

Midfielder Frank Lampard remains an injury doubt, however, after missing the 1-0 victory over Rangers that came courtesy of a disputed Juan Mata penalty, while John-Obi Mikel has been ruled out.

"Frank we have to see how he comes back for training, he is still a doubt, a 50 percent chance, and Mikel shouldn't make it," Villas-Boas added.

Swansea will undoubtedly be fresh as they look to take another notable scalp in front of their own supporters.

Brendan Rodgers made 10 changes to the team beaten 2-0 at Sunderland for the 2-1 FA Cup fourth round defeat at Bolton.

Only Ashley Williams survived from the side that was defeated at the Stadium of Light.

But Rodgers, who does not expect any more new faces before the transfer deadline closes, defended his decision to prioritise Premier League survival over the FA Cup, despite the Welsh club being currently eight points cushion above the relegation zone.

"I wanted to make sure the team was fresh but a lot of players that came into the side at Bolton had already played in the Premier League this season," Rodgers explained.

"I've got big respect for the FA Cup and I wanted us to go through."

Swansea will be full of confidence against Chelsea, having beaten Arsenal 3-2 in their previous home match.

Their form at the Liberty Stadium has been vital to Swansea's impressive start to the season, with a 1-0 defeat by English champions Manchester United the only loss they have suffered in front of their own fans.

Rodgers has no new injury concerns ahead of the Chelsea match.

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