Andre Villas-Boas insists he has backing of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich

 

Andre Villas-Boas today insisted he retained the complete backing of Roman Abramovich and Chelsea's players, despite his nightmare start to life at Stamford Bridge.

Villas-Boas shrugged off the mounting pressure on him following the Blues' worst beginning to a campaign since Abramovich bought the club eight years ago.

Speculation is rife Villas-Boas could be sacked if he fails to arrest a slump that has seen Chelsea slide out of the Barclays Premier League top four and in danger of failing to reach the last 16 of the Champions League.

There have also been reports of player unrest at the tactical changes made by the 34-year-old, who was tasked by Abramovich with getting the club to play more like Barcelona.

Villas-Boas confirmed he had spoken to the Russian billionaire since Wednesday night's last gasp Champions League defeat at Bayer Leverkusen, revealing he had been given his boss' full support.

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."

The Portuguese had appeared drained after Wednesday night's defeat but looked confident and relaxed today under the watchful eye of chairman Bruce Buck, who made a surprise appearance at the club's press conference to preview tomorrow's game against Wolves.

Villas-Boas even joked he had not expected to see himself on the back pages of newspapers this morning, despite the mounting pressure on him.

But events took a more serious turn when he denied reports of angry exchanges during meeting of players and staff yesterday.

"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."

He added: "The philosophy will be the last thing to die at this club.

"It's a thing that makes technical staff and players very, very proud."

Villas-Boas also rubbished suggestions his lack of experience necessitated the appointment of an older coach to work alongside him, such as Guus Hiddink.

"I don't agree with that," he said, insisting he and his current staff would solve Chelsea's problems.

"I don't solve problems on my own. I solve them with my group of people and my group of players.

"I'm not a religious person, so I just hold on to my self-belief and the belief in my players' talents."

Chelsea's mental strength was also questioned this week by former midfielder Michael Ballack.

Villas-Boas said; "Michael is always very self-opinionated.

"I disagree with him. He doesn't live in this dressing room.

"He used to live here before and he didn't solve all the problems before."

Asked what he thought had gone wrong in what had been a run of four defeats from seven games, Villas-Boas said: "When you are hyped up emotionally and when you have more confidence, things go better for you.

"A negative streak of results can be explained by emotional states and it could be just that.

"So we need to find the right emotional stimulus, plus the right balance in terms of what we do to get the results that we want.

"It could be just around the corner."

Three of those defeats all came late on in matches and Villas-Boas added: "There is the so-called Fergie time and Man United seems very successful in making the most out of that time.

"In football, you just have to get the focus right in those last minutes."

The Portuguese admitted Chelsea were in a "life and death" situation in the Champions League and the same could be said about their Premier League challenge.

Failure to beat Wolves could see them drop to seventh place by the end of this weekend, although victory might send them as high as third.

"Every game gives you an opportunity to get back on track and that's exactly our focus," said Villas-Boas of a game in which he will be under more scrutiny than ever.

But he added: "The spotlight is something I that I don't think is disturbing to me.

"It doesn't disturb me whatsoever.

"It's not about me as an individual, it's about my group of players and this football club."

PA

Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
O'Toole as Cornelius Gallus in ‘Katherine of Alexandria’
filmSadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Life and Style
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment