AVB looks to Europe for boost
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas intends to use the FA Cup and Champions League to restore his team's confidence.
The Blues' poor form continued as they slipped out of the Barclays Premier League top four after a 2-0 defeat at Everton on Satuday. Chelsea, who surrendered a 3-0 lead to draw with Manchester United last week, have collected just three points from their last four league games.
That run has increased speculation over Villas-Boas' future but he is hoping a switch of focus can revive spirits. Chelsea host Birmingham in the FA Cup fifth round next week before travelling to Napoli. Villas-Boas said: "There are two different competitions now ahead of us and two competitions where we want to show a different quality."
He added: "We have one week to prepare for Birmingham and then Napoli. They are two competitions where we are in a very good position and we have to rebuild confidence. We are in the last 16 of the FA Cup and we hope to continue to progress. That shows the spirit and resilience in a different competition."
Chelsea were unable to settle at Goodison Park as Everton started at high tempo and rarely let their intensity slip.
The hosts grabbed a fifth-minute lead through Steven Pienaar and secured victory 18 minutes from time when Denis Stracqualursi struck.
Chelsea had a good spell midway through the second half when Daniel Sturridge and Frank Lampard had good chances but otherwise struggled to make any impression.
Villas-Boas, in remarks similar to those of Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini after a loss at the same ground recently, accepted the blame for the defeat.
He said: "I will reflect hard on my preparation and I will take full responsibility for the defeat. I think the players did everything they could to try to affect the result.
"Maybe I will have some retrospective of what I did and think about the preparation. I will reflect hard with my technical staff on my decision-making."