Porto’s success can be traced back to Portman Road!

THE current goings on at the top of the Portuguese League have their origins at Portman Road of a decade ago.

Porto played Benfica last night when a victory would have confirmed the title.

Their manager, who is only 33, Andre Villas Boas spent time shadowing George Burley when the Scot was manager of Ipswich Town 10 years ago.

The link began with another ex-Town boss Sir Bobby Robson, who was instrumental in setting Real Madrid maestro Jose Mourinho on the road the managerial stardom.

Boas worked with the former Chelsea boss at Porto before moving to Stamford Bridge and then following his mentor to Italy to become assistant coach at Inter-Milan.

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He took over Portuguese lower league club Academica de Coimbra and enjoyed immediate success before taking over at Porto last June.

The man, who had no professional playing career, said: “I’m more Sir Bobby Robson that Jose Mourinho – I have an English ancestry a big nose and I like drinking wine.”

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It was Robson who took Boas on to the Porto staff when he was coach of the Portuguese giants in the mid-nineties after being impressed when the youngsters approached him about a team matter initially allowing him to observe first team training.

And it was Robson who pulled the strings that allowed Boas to take a UEFA C coaching badge at Lilleshall when technically too young at 17.

It was during this time that Boas spent time in Scotland and also shadowing Burley at Portman Road where he learnt much - in similar way to Sven-Goran Eriksson when Robson was with Ipswich 20 years earlier.

Reports that Jimmy Bullard is ready to take a pay cut of �25,000 a week are way off the mark although it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that the 32-year-old could entend his stay in Suffolk beyond the current loan date at the end of May.

Hull would love to get Bullard off their wage bill with over two years of his contract still to run, and if Town manager Paul Jewell fancies Bullard full time then the Tigers might be happy to pay up one year of Bullard‘s deal and let him move for free.

But to expect Bullard to wave goodbye to around half the cash his contract entitles him to at his stage of career is not feasible.

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