Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish believes no-one in football should be casting doubt on his Chelsea counterpart Andre Villas-Boas after his side's win at Stamford Bridge piled the pressure on the Portuguese.
Dalglish extended his unbeaten record against the Blues from his two spells in charge of Liverpool to 12 games when the Reds claimed a 2-1 victory on Sunday. The result left both sides 12 points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester City, but while it extended Liverpool's unbeaten run to nine matches in all competitions, it meant Chelsea's third defeat in their last four league outings.
That is Chelsea's worst start to a season since Roman Abramovich bought the club eight years ago. And, with the Russian having sacked five managers during that period, Villas-Boas' job security is already being questioned.
But Dalglish responded: "No-one in the football profession will be questioning him. I don't know the lad, but he had a fantastic CV at Porto. I don't know what the criticism will be, but there's huge respect for him in the football profession."
Villas-Boas was confident Abramovich remained fully behind him, claiming the Russian would not have paid a world record £13 million to prise him from Porto this summer only to sack him at the first sign of trouble.
Villas-Boas, who on Friday shrugged off Guus Hiddink being linked to his job after parting ways with the Turkish national team, said: "It's not a question of the owner having patience. We have set out to build something new at this club and the club is committed to taking what we're building to the future.
"The owner didn't pay 15 million euros to get me out of Porto to pay me another fortune to get out. Our commitment is towards the club and what we are doing in the future."