Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Being on the Brink Chelsea's Own Fault

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Being on the Brink Chelsea's Own Fault

Article excerpt

ANDRE Villas-Boas last night admitted Chelsea only had themselves to blame for being on the brink of crashing out of the Champions League ahead of their do-or-die showdown against Valencia.

Villas-Boas refused to contemplate the prospect of the Blues exiting the competition before Christmas for the first time or the ignominy of being the man in charge were it to happen.

The 34-yearold last week insisted his job did not depend on the outcome of tonight's game, which Chelsea must win or keep a clean sheet into progress to the last 16.

But failure would pile more pressure than ever on the new man in charge, who acknowledged mistakes had been made in the Blues' previous Group E matches that have left them facing the unthinkable.

"We just have ourselves to blame," said Villas-Boas, whose side threw away winning positions in their three away games at Valencia, Genk and Bayer Leverkusen.

"During this campaign of five games, we've done pretty well in terms of performances, but the small details have gone away from us in the last couple of minutes, at Valencia and Leverkusen.

"If that hadn't happened, we would have been sitting here in a familiar position, like in the past, and, most likely, having qualified."

Asked whether failure would dent his personal pride, he said: "I'm not going to answer that question.

"My focus is on tomorrow's game, not what's going to happen after tomorrow's game."

He also sidestepped a question whether tonight's fixture was the biggest of his life, saying: "It's irrelevant what the game represents to me. Our mindset is to continue in the competition, so we approach the game with maximum care and with confidence for tomorrow." Villas-Boas insisted there would be no change to the club's new attacking philosophy, despite a goalless draw being enough to progress.

"You've seen us play enough to know that we always take the initiative in a game," he said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.