AVB - Sturridge keeping right

Boss set to continue with hot-shot playing wide

Daniel Sturridge: Andre Villas-Boas sees his continued use on the right of attack

Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas believes Daniel Sturridge will most likely continue on the right of attack and not at centre-forward.

Sturridge is the Blues' joint top scorer this season on seven goals, despite playing almost exclusively on the right of a three-man attack.

But that has not prevented the 22-year-old repeatedly declaring his desire to occupy a more central role, most recently after making his England debut in last month's friendly win over Sweden.

But Villas-Boas believes he will most likely continue on the right, saying: "There is no purpose in using Daniel up front.

Saw potential

"Our conversation at the beginning of the season was that we saw his potential on the wings - not only myself but also (England boss Fabio) Capello and (former Chelsea manager Carlo) Ancelotti.

"We know he likes the striker position. It doesn't mean that he cannot perform it to the best and, if needs be, we will use him.

"But he will be here with us always counting most likely as a right winger."

Fifth-placed Chelsea have been beaten in all three matches they have played this season against other sides in the Premier League top seven.

"We know he likes the striker position. It doesn't mean that he cannot perform it to the best and, if needs be, we will use him. But he will be here with us always counting most likely as a right winger."

Andre Villas-Boas

Quotes of the week

The Blues face two of the remaining three in their next two top-flight games, with leaders Manchester City following Saturday's Newcastle clash, while they also travel to Tottenham before Christmas.

Not good

"Our form at the moment with the top teams has not been good enough," Villas-Boas said.

"We've still yet to play three of them. So that still might give us a chance."

But the Chelsea boss is taking nothing for granted ahead of the trip to face Alan Pardew's fourth-placed Magpies.

He added: "Pardew has set an excellent standard for what he is doing, he is doing an excellent job and he also brought stability to Newcastle and a sense of serenity.

"Plus, there is a city behind the football club, and there's a sense of empathy with the city and the club.

"So it's a major football club that finds itself in an excellent position, fully motivated, so an excellent challenge for us.

"They went into a good run, a fantastic run, and I think they gained confidence and even more inner-belief to continue further and I think that's what they are doing at the moment."