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When is the Europa League draw?

Europa League

AVB calls for Chelsea's public backing

Andre Villas-Boas has asked for public backing from Chelsea's hierarchy to prove that he is at the club for the long haul and has already set his sights on next season.

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Speaking ahead of Tuesday night's Champions League last 16 clash at Napoli, Villas-Boas reiterated he was confident Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich would not sack him should he fail to reach the quarter-finals and that his 'project' had the Russian billionaire's "full" backing.

"You have to understand that this club, from 2004 up to now, has made a dramatic change for the best in terms of their past," Villas-Boas said in front of watching chairman Bruce Buck and chief executive Ron Gourlay. "It's the richest part of Chelsea's history, full of trophies and success, and you want to perpetuate that into the future.

"To do that, you have to sometimes make changes because you cannot sustain the same habits that you had in 2004, when this environment and team was created to make a winning team.

"These words would be more valuable coming from the top. I cannot keep saying them but, as the voice of the club, I will continue to perpetuate this message because this is what we believe in."

Villas-Boas admitted speculation over his future was inevitable based on the Russian's previous habit of firing managers. Abramovich has parted company with six managers since 2004.

"In terms of the results this year, the speculation is normal given the cultural past of this football club, but you have to understand that there's a different perspective now," he said.

"I'm really confident about next year. That doesn't take any responsibility for what's happening now, but we had a three-year project to change not only the team, but the culture and structure of the club.

"There's a lot we needed to do, a lot of plans, so that's why I'm excited about the future. Having said that, we have to build a team to win trophies from the start.

"With that in mind, the fact that we're no longer in the Carling Cup and don't have a chance to win the (Barclays Premier League) title is a shame.

"But we are still confident we can do well in the Champions League and the FA Cup."

Asked if he had inherited an ageing Chelsea side at just the wrong time, he said: "I wouldn't have moved if I didn't feel confident I could take the challenge through.

"I was fully motivated taking on a massive job like this one and still am."


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