Belfast Telegraph

Villas-Boas happy with belief

Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas saluted the belief of his players after they fought their way back into the Barclays Premier League's top four.

Saturday's 3-0 win at Newcastle came as a welcome relief after three defeats in their previous four games in all competitions, and set them up nicely for Tuesday night's Champions League showdown with Valencia and their clash with Premier League leaders Manchester City next Monday.

"It was a good solid performance for 90 minutes. The players were decisive. To find that inner-belief and strength was a major key," said Villas-Boas.

"Coming to one of the best stadiums in the Premier League, plus one of the best defences in the Premier League and a team that was at full steam in terms of motivation was always a difficult challenge.

"We did fantastically well and the players deserve some applause for what they did in the game."

Chelsea were fortunate not to have to play the final 86 minutes of the game with only 10 men after central defender David Luiz somehow escaped with only a yellow card from referee Mike Dean for hauling down striker Demba Ba on the edge of the box.

Villas-Boas admitted: "I haven't seen it. Of course, the emotions from the stands and from the Newcastle bench, for them, it looked like a sending-off.

"I haven't seen it, to be fair, but it was Mike's decision and maybe, it went our way."

He added with smile: "Of course, [Newcastle boss] Alan [Pardew] won't be happy with that, but all I can say is with 10 or nine men, we play even better, so maybe we would have won the game more than 3-0."

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