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Roma's chance to bounce back

AS Roma

Villas-Boas: Stamford Bridge is 'anxious'

Andre Villas-Boas has called on the Chelsea fans to help his side out their slump in form after claiming that Stamford Bridge has become ''anxious'' after the 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Carling Cup.

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The pressure on Villas-Boas intensified as goals from Maxi Rodriguez and Martin Kelly subjected the Blues to their third home defeat in four games. It was a feeble and toothless display from Chelsea, who face critical fixtures at Stamford Bridge against Valencia and Manchester City over the next two weeks.

And Villas-Boas insists the club need the support of their fans like never before.

"Away from home, we've been more solid, statistically and as a team," he said. "That is a fact. At the moment at home, we've just not been good enough. I think we need to get our fans behind us when we play at home.

''We need to get the emotions right. I know, and you can feel, that Stamford Bridge has become anxious about Chelsea playing at home but we need their full support behind us. That's the only way you can build the atmosphere to take us through this period.

"The Champions League is a competition which is life and death and this standard won't be enough. We need to up the tempo and play that game [against Valencia] with the ultimate desire."

The Portuguese coach knows that if results don't go his way in December that the Premier League title could slip away from the Blues before Christmas.

"Regarding the Premier League fixtures, for our challenge to be alive, we need to make the most out of the December fixtures," he said. "You know they include Newcastle, Manchester City and Tottenham. If we do that, we'll be back on track. It will have a major impact by the end of December. We recovered two points at the weekend. But for us to continue to challenge, we need to make the most of the December fixtures. That is our challenge.

"In the situation we are in, 10 points behind, it can invert what can happen in the Premier League in four months' time. I'm not a wizard and I won't say what will happen afterwards can't have an impact - the FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League come into play - and March and April can be as decisive as December. But it's a fact, given we play the top teams, that we can put our challenge back on track."

Fernando Torres was anonymous against former club Liverpool, but Villas-Boas also backed the £50 million striker to come good, despite suggesting he may lose his place against Newcastle.

''It will come with confidence and time. We believe in him and will continue to pursue his individual form,'' he said. ''Our task as technical staff is to get the best out of players and if we don't do that then we have failed.

''It takes time and Fernando faces a tough time. He must compete because at the moment Didier Drogba is showing good signs.''


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