It's Not My Philosophy That's the Cancer in This Club. CHELSEA BOSS PRESSURE AT THE BRIDGE VILLAS-BOAS HITS BACK AT THE CRITICS BUT AVB ADMITS: WE DO NEED TO PLAY BETTER FOOTBALL, GET BETTER PLAYERS AND START TO WIN MATCHES AGAIN
Byline: JOHN CROSS
ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS last night claimed his managerial beliefs are not the "cancer" that's killing Chelsea.
The Blues boss insisted the whole dressing room was still behind him and claimed his style of football was not the reason why results have been bad and left the club in crisis.
Under-pressure Villas-Boas also insisted he will turn it round at Stamford Bridge - and maintained owner Roman Abramovich will give him time to get it right.
The Chelsea boss was in good spirits as he laughed and joked, while explaining in great detail his approach to the game - attractive, attacking football, winning trophies and developing young players.
Villas-Boas said: "The players will never lose faith because the philosophy is not a cancer of this football club - the philosophy is not the reason why we are losing games, it's a misconception. The philosophy is playing good football for the fans, good football to try and win games - we have been trying to do that. The worst games that I can recall were against Norwich and Liverpool.
"When you set out on a contract you believe in the evolution of a philosophy, of a style of play, of winning the most amount of trophies in that period.
"That is what we set out. Also there is an objective to invert the way that Chelsea play the game. That is what we are trying to do."
Villas-Boas was at pains to insist he will be given time and patience as well as spelling out exactly what his philosophy is. He was also adamant that he will never change his beliefs or style.
It went beyond just his tactical demands and the now infamous defensive 'high line' which has tripped up John Terry and David Luiz on numerous occasions already this season.
Villas-Boas wants to make the Blues more entertaining, make the midfield more tenacious, the strikers more creative, develop younger players, get the club's finances in better order - and still win trophies along the way. It was always going to be a big ask for any manager, and yet the 34-year-old finds himself having to work miracles with an ageing squad which needed an overhaul at a club which is not renowned for patience.
Seven managers in Abramovich's eight years of power and yet Villas-Boas insists that he was given a three-year deal with an understanding from the owner that he would be afforded time to get things right.
The former Porto manager is trying to change the way of playing for a set of ageing players who have enjoyed success in the past playing a different style of football.
But AVB insists the players are up to the challenge and they buy into it. "There are no schedules for achieving different kinds of things," said Villas-Boas.
"We have spoken about our responsibilities before for this season and at the moment we are missing out in one competition, which is the Carling Cup.
"But it is only at the end of the season that we can make a judgement. Trophies and the way we play, that was the prerogative. It was set out to me and to continue to evolve as a club. In the situation that we are in now, plus Financial Fair Play from next season onwards.
"We will always have to evolve, we will have to see what is happening in terms of our academy and the promotion of our players.
"You saw that we have brought in players that have lost no time in assuming themselves as a threat in the first team, from [Oriol] Romeu to [Juan] Mata, to [Raul] Meireles, to [Daniel] Sturridge. …