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Malouda: Players must take blame

Florent Malouda believes Chelsea's players are to blame, not manager Andre Villas-Boas, for the club's poor form.

• Villas-Boas not worried by exit talk

Chelsea have slumped to three defeats in their last four Premier League matches, leaving Villas-Boas, who took over in the summer, under pressure.

But Malouda has attempted to ease the growing strain on the Blues' head coach, insisting the players must take responsibility for the team's disappointing run of results.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday's Champions League meeting with Bayer Leverkusen, Malouda said: "I don't think the solution is about looking at the manager. We are the ones going out on the pitch and performing in a good or bad way.

"We have all the ingredients at the club right now - the board, the technical staff, the players and the manager - to perform. We've done it in the past.

"We've got good players in the squad, and we still have that ambition. It's difficult to explain why it went wrong recently, but we started the season well and were able to compete with the top teams in the league, and get to first place in the group.

"There's no reason to panic. Everyone wants to give us advice or point at the manager. We have to take our responsibility on the pitch."

Malouda went on to admit that he is as guilty as anyone of underperforming of late, adding: "I would say that I need to step up my game more.

"I've never blamed a referee or a pitch or the weather to explain a bad performance. That's not how you become a top player. I need to do more, I need to improve my performances, and I'm fully aware of that.

"That's why I don't want to give you excuses. If I tried to explain it in a logical manner, you might think I'm making excuses for losing. I just want to win."

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