Villas-Boas: I won't change
Andre Villas-Boas will not sacrifice his attacking principles at Chelsea, and has every belief his team will play themselves out of their recent run of bad form.
Chelsea have lost three of their last five games under Villas-Boas, with home Premier League defeats to Arsenal and Liverpool exacerbated by a potentially disastrous Champions League loss away at Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday. But their 34-year-old coach is confident his approach will reap rewards over time.
"I went through a spell like this at Academica, where we suffered goals in the last minute - but that is the nature of football," Villas-Boas said. "In football you just have to get the focus right in those last few minutes to hold on and get the result.
"What we have shown up to here, even in the moments of defeat, is something we are going to stick with for the remainder of the season. Our belief is in our work and we just have to continue to do it. Everybody wants to get out of a situation like this - it's nothing new when you go on a run of bad results. [But] every game gives you an opportunity to get back on track
"I just hold on to my self belief and the belief in my players' talents. The key is to transfer what we do in training onto the pitch and hopefully that will bring good results."
Chelsea's defeats to Arsenal and Liverpool were the first back-to-back home losses since Roman Abramovich took over at the club in 2003, and all too predictably prompted speculation the club's owner was ready to dispense with another manager. There has even been talk Abramovich will turn to former Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink, but Villas-Boas laughed off the suggestion at Friday's press conference.
"Not critical meetings, no animosity, not insults here and there, no critique whatsoever regarding what we are doing, no doubts whatsoever regarding what we are doing,'' he said. "Self-confidence and self-belief is what we need now and everybody wants to get it. That thing only comes with wins."
Asked if Abramovich had promised to give him time to turn things around, he said simply: ''Yes.'' Villas-Boas refused to go into more detail about their conversation but added: ''Everybody wants to get out of a situation like this.''
One manager who knows all about the weight of expectation is Manchester City's Roberto Mancini, whose tenure has been the subject of rampant speculation with every run of bad of results at the club. But Mancini stressed on Friday that Villas-Boas should be given time to settle at Stamford Bridge.
''I think when you are a new coach or manager - I think he needs time," Mancini said. ''In two or three months it is difficult to change (things) - maybe he is a different manager from Carlo Ancelotti. I think every manager needs time.''
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