Villas-Boas defiant despite Chelsea turmoil

23 February 2012 02:46

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas insisted he enjoyed the full support of owner Roman Abramovich on Thursday amid reports of a behind-the-scenes power struggle at Stamford Bridge.

Villas-Boas's position has been the source of constant speculation this week after a disappointing home draw with Birmingham in the FA Cup was followed by a 3-1 Champions League defeat at Napoli.

Tuesday's loss in Italy has left Chelsea facing elimination from Europe, with Villas-Boas's selection for the match attracting criticism after Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Michael Essien were relegated to the bench.

The turmoil at the club was reflected across the media on Thursday with headlines ranging from "Battle at the Bridge" as former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez was linked to the club.

Villas-Boas brushed off questions about whether his position was in jeopardy.

"Yes. Of course," the Portuguese coach replied when asked if he still had the backing of Chelsea's notoriously trigger-happy Russian owner.

Villas-Boas meanwhile revealed the club's hierarchy had questioned his starting XI for Tuesday's defeat at Napoli, but insisted he had no regrets about omitting Lampard and Cole.

"No, I do not have any regrets about team selection. It was completely right," he said.

"I have spoken to the persons near to him (Abramovich). He is disappointed and asking questions about how we set up the team, which were duly explained."

Source: AFP