Mata: Squad behind Villas-Boas
Villas-Boas, installed as manager this summer following the departure of Carlo Ancelotti, was forced to deny reports last week that some members of the Chelsea squad had become unhappy with his tactics. Recent defeats to QPR, Liverpool, Arsenal and Bayer Leverkusen had left the 34-year-old Blues boss under pressure, but he responded well on Saturday by guiding his team to a comfortable 3-0 win over Wolves at Stamford Bridge.
Mata was the architect of the midlanders' downfall, setting up John Terry and Daniel Sturridge for the first two goals before adding his own on the stroke of half-time to seal the win, and following the match the Spain international rubbished talk of a rift between Villas-Boas and the Chelsea squad, saying: "It's never easy to have such negative results, but we all have a lot of faith in ourselves as a team. We have a lot of faith in our coach and in the quality of the squad."
He added: "We had a team meeting last week simply to reiterate that we are all together and that we are heading in the same direction and we showed that against Wolves.
"The group has always been very united, and we have always been sure that the secret in enjoying more success as we go forward, in getting out of this moment, has been to stay strong and stay together."
Chelsea will come up against Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester City and Valencia in their upcoming fixtures, and Villas-Boas knows he still has a lot of work to do to drag his team back into the title race.
The Portuguese was happy to get back to winning ways, however, and reaffirmed his belief that his squad is capable of challenging in all competitions this season.
He said: "It was important for us to win, but it's not about me, it's about this club, and at the moment this club is fifth in the table. Hopefully we can get the results to get into a decent position. We just have to continue our work. We trust these players to take us to four trophies and I believe in them."
Fernando Torres was left on the bench for Saturday's win, with Villas-Boas preferring to use Didier Drogba as the head of a three-pronged attack with Sturridge and Mata.
Torres, a British record Â£50million purchase, may return to the starting XI for Tuesday's Carling Cup quarter-final against former club Liverpool, and Villas-Boas has urged the Spaniard to be patient, saying: "I'm sure Fernando and the others will get a chance in the future. Fernando had a good run when he performed for the team, but we decided in this run to go with Didier for consistency and to give the team a reference point."
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