It is a far cry from Harry Redknapp’s laid back attitude towards the competition, which Tottenham exited at the group stage last season.
Villas Boas, who won the tournament with Porto in 2011, said he would “embrace the Europa League as if it were the Champions League.”
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Since Guus Hiddink arrived at the helm, Chelsea have improved considerably after a tricky start to the campaign.
Newcastle United are staring down the barrel of relegation to the Championship for the second time in the past eight years.