Belfast Telegraph

Villas-Boas confident of survival

Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas insists there is no chance of him being sacked if the club fail to reach the Champions League knockout phase or fall even further adrift in the Barclays Premier League.

Speculation is rife over whether or not billionaire Blues owner Roman Abramovich will keep patience with Villas-Boas should the Portuguese fail to arrest the club's nightmare start to the season, with the club facing tough fixtures at Newcastle on Saturday followed by Man City at Stamford Bridge on Monday week.

But asked why he felt his future was secure, Villas-Boas said: "Because I was brought in for a three-year project and we believe in it."

Contracts have not prevented Abramovich wielding the axe in the past but to jettison a man he paid Porto more than £13million for during the summer would be hugely embarrassing for the Russian, while it would also defeat the object of Villas-Boas' appointment - to transform the way Chelsea play over the course of the next three years.

"The philosophy is not a cancer - we are not speaking about something that is wrong," said Villas-Boas, who reiterated that his players were fully behind his approach amid fresh reports of dissent.

The 34-year-old also denied Chelsea's season had reached crisis point, adding: "It's at crisis point for everyone that speculates with what is happening and with events that are not happening at this football club. But we just have to pull ourselves together.

"I cannot repeat myself one time and then another time about the situation, we can only grab ourselves to our hard work and continue to believe that we are going to invert the situation."

Even if they do so, it appears inevitable the club will attempt to bolster their squad during the January transfer window.

"We have to decide if we want to strengthen the squad or not," said Villas-Boas, who could also allow forward trio Didier Drogba, Nicolas Anelka and Salomon Kalou to leave, with their contracts due to expire at the end of the season.

"We'll have to see if we are approached by any club regarding our players, which can happen as well, and then make the wisest of decisions."


From Belfast Telegraph