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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

50-50 Challenge
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Villas-Boas: Club don't need to back me

Andre Villas-Boas has confessed Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has no obligation to speak out in support of the Portuguese, following yet another dark day during his short spell in charge.

• West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Chelsea

Chelsea were not only beaten but outplayed by West Brom at the Hawthorns on Saturday, losing 1-0 thanks to Gareth McAuley's late goal. The result leaves Chelsea three points behind Arsenal in the chase for Champions League football next season.

The Blues now faces a critical period of games, starting with an FA Cup replay at Birmingham, where they will bid to keep alive their only truly realistic hope of silverware this season. A week later comes a Champions League second leg with Napoli, where Chelsea have to overturn a two-goal deficit.

Villas-Boas has stated in the past that he is at Chelsea for the long term, whilst hinting that it would be easier for the media to understand his position if word came publicly from the top. However, he confessed after the West Brom defeat that Abramovich currently has no cause to speak out in defence of his man.

"I don't think the club need to back me," Villas-Boas admitted. "We just need to get on with our jobs and everyone has to be better, the players and management staff, everyone.

"For us to demand to be backed we have to improve. It's not for the owner to come and back us when things go like this.

"Every defeat that Chelsea suffer piles more pressure on any manager. You have to agree that this result puts more pressure on me. We stick to the same position, fifth, but we are now three points behind fourth."

Asked once again if he feared for his job, Villas-Boas replied: "If I didn't believe I was the right person I wouldn't have come. At the moment we have to win games. I'm not worried about the future, the present is more important."

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