Villas-Boas will bounce back - Pulis

PA Sport

Stoke boss Tony Pulis expects to see Andre Villas-Boas bounce back from his sacking at Chelsea.

The Portuguese lost his job only eight months after being appointed as manager at Stamford Bridge. Villas-Boas had set about trying to renovate an ageing Blues squad but with the team lying fifth in the Barclays Premier League and in danger of being eliminated from the Champions League, owner Roman Abramovich decided to dispense with his services.

The 34-year-old had previously enjoyed great success at Porto, and referring to his counterpart, Pulis said: "He had a very difficult job. To go into Chelsea and turn it around in eight months was very difficult."

He added: "I found him to be a nice chap. I'm sure he will get back into the game and that it will have been a great experience for him."

Stoke travel to London to take on Chelsea on Saturday in what will be the hosts' first league match under caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo, who oversaw Tuesday night's 2-0 FA Cup fifth round replay win at Birmingham.

That game was Blues striker Fernando Torres' 23rd consecutive appearance for the club without a goal and he appeared to pass up the opportunity to take a penalty.

The Spaniard, Chelsea's £50million record signing, seems to be feeling the pressure, but his overall performance impressed Pulis, who was watching from the stands.

"I went to Birmingham and watched him the other night and I thought he did absolutely fantastically," Pulis said.

"I thought he worked his socks off and that his movement was brilliant.

"He just needs a little bit of luck in front of goal - I just hope he doesn't get it against us on Saturday. His attitude was fantastic."

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