John Terry has admitted it is vital to Chelsea's future for them to qualify for next season's Champions League.
The Blues are in real danger of failing to earn a place in Europe's premier club competition for the first time in the Roman Abramovich era. They lie fifth in the Barclays Premier League, while they are favourites to crash out of this season's Champions League on Wednesday night when they play Napoli in their last-16 second leg.
Captain Terry acknowledged that Chelsea could ill afford to spend a year outside Europe's elite if they are to continue to attract top players and adhere to UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations. He said: "We need Champions League football financially, and also to attract the best players. So we need to be in the competition next season."
Terry added: "We understand as a group what we need to do to ensure that happens, and we'll do everything we can to make sure it does happen."
Terry insisted there was no need to tell his team-mates to "man up" ahead of the do-or-die Napoli clash. A little over a year ago, Terry did just that ahead of his side's last-16 tie with FC Copenhagen.
But he said on Tuesday night: "There's no need for me to come out. We know what we need to do.
"As a group of players and a club, we should be in a better position - even in this tie."
The 31-year-old also accused Wojciech Szczesny and Luiz Felipe Scolari of talking "complete nonsense" about the Chelsea dressing room.
Arsenal goalkeeper Szczesny last week claimed Villas-Boas' sacking proved the Blues' England players effectively ran the club. Former Chelsea boss Scolari also warned Villas-Boas' successor "hell" awaited him because of the influence of the squad on owner Roman Abramovich.
Blues captain Terry hit back, saying: "People speculating from various different clubs or previous managers, that's complete nonsense."