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Mar 3, 2012

Villas-Boas feeling the pressure

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas admitted he is under increased pressure after his side slumped to a 1-0 defeat at West Brom on Saturday.

• West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Chelsea

Gareth McAuley's second-half goal was enough to see off a Chelsea side that, according to their manager, just "weren't good enough" at The Hawthorns.

Chelsea have now won only three of their last 12 Premier League games and have slipped three points behind Arsenal in the battle for the final Champions League spot.

"Will this result increase pressure on me? You have to agree with it," Villas-Boas said. "We are in the same position, fifth, but we are now three points behind Arsenal.

"It is a big, big disappointment. Every defeat Chelsea suffers piles more pressure on any manager.

"Today is acceptable that pressure piles on a bit more. We have responsibilities to the fans and the club and we did not perform."

But a defiant Villas-Boas added: "Am I the right man for the job? Yes. I wouldn't have taken it if I didn't think that."

However, the Chelsea boss conceded his side were second best in all departments with only Ashley Cole escaping criticism.

He said: "We have a defeat which is badly taken because we were very poor on the day. We have to improve. This is bad. This defeat cannot be well taken.

"The only player at an outstanding level today was Ashley Cole. The rest of us all under-performed from management to the rest of the players.

"Full credit to West Brom but we weren't good enough on the day. They won every first and second ball and were far superior to us. It's a big disappointment and a poor, poor display.

"We had an edge for the first 10 minutes when we had a couple of chances and a goal then would have given us extra motivation and drive.

"But West Brom also had chances, created lots of problems, there was good intensity in their game and we weren't good enough."

Baggies coach Roy Hodgson is backing Villas-Boas to revive Chelsea's fortunes - if given time.

He said: "I sympathise and empathise with Andre but the day we coaches, who realise football has two sides to its coin, don't stand up for each other will be a sad day for football.

"He doesn't need advice. He is a very successful manager. I saw the Porto side play the other night at Manchester City and that is the team he put together.

"He has come to Chelsea with high expectations and it has not started as well as he would have liked

"But it is early days. To build a team takes time and there are no magic wands.

"If he is going to be successful, he will need time to stamp his authority on the team and given time, he will be able to do that."

Hodgson was full of pride at his side's performance as they achieved a third successive league win.

He said: "We did play well, the performance was a good one from start to finish. As a team, we can feel proud of our performance against a very good Chelsea team."

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