Andre Villas-Boas has revealed that he never felt the full support of Frank Lampard while he was manager at Chelsea.
The Tottenham Hotspur boss was unceremoniously sacked after just nine months in charge at Chelsea last season and will return to Stamford Bridge for the first time since then this evening.
During the end of Villas-Boas' tenure with Chelsea, reports of the manager falling out with senior members in the dressing room were rife, with former Chelsea defender Alex claiming that the Portuguese manager had "disrespected" England international Lampard.
But ahead of tonight's encounter at Stamford Bridge, AVB has suggested things were the other way around, telling The Sun: "Yes, there was a lack of support from Frank Lampard but his ability and quality were never in doubt.
"Whether the Chelsea players supported me does not really matter right now. And probably being sacked made me a better manager."
Chelsea's 1-0 win over champions Manchester United on Sunday afternoon greatly strengthened their chances of finishing in the top four and earning a coveted spot in the Champions League.
The Blues currently sit third, three points clear of fifth placed Tottenham, but a win for Villas-Boas' side could completely alter the race for a top four finish with just two games remaining following tonight's game.
Tottenham's Champions League credentials have been greatly strengthened in a campaign where they have claimed priceless victories against Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal, and Villas-Boas identifies a win over Chelsea as something his side can add to those achievements.
"Going back is not very special for me," the Portuguese manager continued. "We have beaten all the big teams apart from Chelsea. Now we have an opportunity to put our destiny in our hands."
Despite being led by PFA Player, PFA Young Player and Football Writer's Player of the Year Gareth Bale, Spurs will travel to southwest London with the burden of having not won once in 20 Premier League visits to Stamford Bridge.