Andre Villas-Boas remains defiant over Chelsea future

 

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas insists he retains the full backing of Blues owner Roman Abramovich despite the club's recent poor form.

The Blues are fifth in the Barclays Premier League and look to be heading out of the Champions League following their 3-1 defeat to Napoli on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old's future has been the source of speculation over the last few weeks and reports have claimed there are rifts within the Stamford Bridge dressing room. But when asked whether he still has the backing of Abramovich, Villas-Boas told a press conference this afternoon: "Yes. Of course."

Villas-Boas controversially left out Frank Lampard, Michael Essien and Ashley Cole for the first leg of the last-16 tie in Italy, which Chelsea led before a defensive horror show saw them concede three goals.

The Portuguese stood by his team selection today, although he did admit that he had to explain why he chose the starting XI he did to the club's hierarchy.

He said: "No, I do not have any regrets about team selection... It was completely right.

"I have spoken to the persons near to him (Abramovich). He is disappointed and asking questions about how we set up the team, which were duly explained."

Former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez, who has been out of a job since December 2010, has been linked with taking over from Villas-Boas, but the Spaniard's agent denied any approach had been made.

Manuel Garcia Quilon told Press Association Sport: "There is nothing official.

"It's only media speculation and we have not been approached by Chelsea. We would only evaluate that possibility once there is an offer."

Villas-Boas denied reports that Cole had questioned his tactics.

"This is not true," said the Chelsea boss, who has won just four of his last 14 games.

Villas-Boas continued by denying that Cole had been left out of the XI that played in Italy because he had fallen out with his manager.

"He had two training sessions before that game. That made an impact on the selection process," Villas-Boas said.

The former Porto manager, a surprise recruitment to succeed double Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti last summer, insists he is not feeling the strain despite the club's failings on the pitch.

"It doesn't affect me at all," Villas-Boas said.

"Last year I was linked with lots of different clubs whenever results didn't go [right for them], it is the same with this club."

Lampard was a regular under Villas-Boas' predecessors but he has become an increasingly marginal figure under the young Portuguese boss.

He was unhappy at being omitted from the Chelsea team in Naples but Villas-Boas claims the incident has been blown out of proportion.

"In the end it is the decision of the manager and Frank accepts it," Villas-Boas said.

"It's difficult for him to take with the involvement he's had in the Champions League and I wouldn't expect it any other way, but it is the manager's decision and although it's difficult to take it's for the benefit of the team.

"We had a discussion. There is nothing to resolve."

Lampard's contract expires at the end of next season and he has been linked with a number of clubs, but Villas-Boas is keen for the former West Ham man to stay.

"I hope he is here next season," the Chelsea manager added.

As vice-captain, Lampard is in line to captain the Blues for the next few weeks as John Terry recovers from a long-standing knee injury.

Villas-Boas' team have struggled without Terry at the back and the Chelsea boss admits losing the former England skipper is a massive blow.

"We badly miss him. It is a massive, massive loss," Villas-Boas said.

"He is a leader and a great performer even through adversity.

"He has had his knee operation and he will be out for between five and six weeks, hopefully sooner."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
Sport
Ronaldinho signs the t-shirt of a pitch invader
footballProof they are getting bolder
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
News
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
Voices
voicesBy the man who has
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Sport
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
News
Floyd
newsFloyd 'Creeky' Creekmore still performed regularly to raise money for local hospitals
Extras
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
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

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?