Villas-Boas admits he doesn't deserve backing

Chelsea manager says Abramovich should not offer public support after defeat at West Brom

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The Independent Football

Andre Villas-Boas said that he could expect no public endorsement of his position after a 1-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion extended Chelsea's miserable run to three wins in 12 Premier League games.

The fate of the 34-year-old Portuguese manager remains under the microscope. He faces an FA Cup fifth-round replay against Birmingham City on Tuesday, followed eight days later by the home second leg of a Champions' League round-of-16 tie in which Chelsea trail Napoli 3-1.

Roman Abramovich was not thought to have been present yesterday and Villas-Boas brushed aside suggestions that now would be an opportune time for the Russian owner to lend his support publicly.

"It's not for the owner to back us when things go like this with such a poor display," he said.

Asked whether he was still the man for the job, Villas-Boas said: "I think so but it's out of my hands. It's up to the owner. If I didn't think I was the right man, I wouldn't have come here. Every defeat that Chelsea suffer piles more pressure on a manager. That's accepted. I'm fully responsible... I am the manager. I'm not worried about the future. We have to solve the present, which is much more important."

The continuing success of Albion's Roy Hodgson strengthened his case as a contender for the England job.

"I'm not involved with that at all," Hodgson said. "The FA have their business and my business is at West Bromwich Albion."