Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas
Villas-Boas was part of Mourinho's back-room team at FC Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas has stoked the fire ahead of the Premier League visit of Chelsea by slamming suggestions regarding his former relationship with Jose Mourinho.

Villas-Boas followed Mourinho from FC Porto to Chelsea and then to Inter Milan and was often billed as the Portuguese's right-hand man before becoming a manager in his own right.

The 35 year old then followed a similar career path, mirroring the treble won by Mourinho in the 2010/11 season at Porto in his maiden season as a boss before moving to Chelsea.

Despite being sacked by the Blues before the end of his first season, comparisons with Mourinho continue to be drawn but ahead of the pair's first ever meeting on opposite sides of the dugout, Villas-Boas has dismissed any notion he is comparable to the current Chelsea boss.

"I was never his number two. I was part of his staff, but I was never his assistant," Villas-Boas told L'Equipe. "That's one of the reasons we went our separate ways. I thought I could give him a lot more, but he didn't feel the need to have someone next to him.

"So I decided to give myself freedom and think about my career, which wasn't difficult. Yes, there are similarities: Porto, Chelsea. But he has had a lot of success at Chelsea and I didn't have a good experience there.

"The comparisons are difficult to accept for different reasons," he added. "When you start your coaching career, everyone looks at where you come from.

"I learned with Jose Mourinho, but I'm completely different to him in terms of personality, way of working and communication. We have different philosophies.

"Of course, Jose has been very important in my career, he's enabled me to step back and look at things, and given me experience that I would not have been able to have with anyone else.

"We had a super working relationship, we won, but as soon as we parted ways, I started doing things my way. The comparisons come from the media. And the first difference is our personalities."

Villas-Boas has now begun a second successive season with the same club for the first time in his managerial career, with Tottenham targeting a return to the Champions League after failing to qualify for a third successive season last term.

The spell at Tottenham comes after he was sacked just seven months into his Chelsea tenure and replaced by assistant Roberto di Matteo, who went on to win the Champions League later that season.

And Villas-Boas says the reasons for his failure in west London can be traced back to the lack of support he had at Stamford Bridge.

"Chelsea was an experience for me because it allowed me to understand that there are certain things I cannot do," he added. "There, I was the same coach as I was at Porto. I had a direction I wanted to go in and I wanted the team to follow. But I didn't get enough support to be able to follow that direction. Finally, it turned out to be a good thing, because that experience taught me a lot, and today at Tottenham, I do things differently.

"My past at Porto gave me advantages and disadvantages. I had principles, values, and I'm very stubborn, I don't change them. I learned at school that the team is more important than any player. So I try to defend the team over any individual.

"But today I'm more flexible, I perhaps handle things better with key players. I treated everyone the same way at Chelsea. Only, to be able to stick to that line, you need the support of the club, and you don't find that everywhere. At Porto, yes."