AVB - Not all players back me
Andre Villas-Boas admits not all of his players back his Chelsea 'project', but does not believe he has lost the support of owner Roman Abramovich.
Last Updated: 17/02/12 7:58am
Andre Villas-Boas admits not all of his players support his 'project' at Chelsea, but does not believe he has lost the backing of owner Roman Abramovich.
Chelsea's defeat at Everton last weekend saw Villas-Boas' side drop out of the UEFA Champions League qualification places and fall 17 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Villas-Boas has already conceded defeat in the title race and the struggle to claim a top-four spot has already led to rumours the Portuguese is on borrowed time.
On the back of the 2-0 loss at Goodison Park, Villas-Boas held a team meeting on Sunday and there were reports that the Blues boss had been openly challenged by members of his squad.
The former Porto coach, who only took charge at Stamford Bridge last summer, has denied "strong words" had been exchanged but acknowledged he did not enjoy the backing of all his players.
"That is normal," he said.
"They don't have to back my project. It's the owner who backs my project."
Villas-Boas, who on Saturday took "full responsibility", said he was unaware of any of his squad questioning his tactics or team selection.
There have also been reports senior stars want Abramovich to send an SOS to Guus Hiddink to rescue Chelsea's season, just as the Dutchman did three years ago when Luiz Felipe Scolari was sacked.
But despite the club being in a worse position now - fifth in the Premier League - than they were then, Villas-Boas was confident his own job was under no more threat this week than last.
"I don't think so, but it's a question that you will have to ask the owner," he said ahead of Saturday's FA Cup clash with Birmingham and Champions League last-16 first leg at Napoli.
"I think the owner has full trust in me and will continue to progress with the ideas that we have.
"In the end, that is the objective of getting us the best position possible in the league, plus these two trophies, which we are fighting for.
"It will be extremely good for us if we win against Birmingham to put ourselves in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
"But we need strong progression in the league and to show our strength, so we efficate a little bit more our contention for fourth place - as third is already 10 points ahead of us - so that we get Champions League qualification."