Football

AVB responsible for lifting Chelsea

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Andre Villas-Boas is ready to step up to the plate to turn Chelsea's fortunes around their Champions League defeat to Bayer Leverkusen condemed them to their fourth loss in seven games.

Didier Drogba's second-half strike looked to have secured all three points for the Blues, but headers from substitute Eren Derdiyok and defender Manuel Friedrich leaves the club's hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages of Europe's premier club competition on a knife edge.

Villas-Boas' side require either victory or a goalless draw against Valencia at Stamford Bridge to qualify, and the 34-year-old Portuguese boss, in his first season managing in the UEFA Champions League, is ready to lead the fight.

"That is my task, to inspire these people and to motivate these people, to change our faith," he said. "The work we've been doing is good and the talent of the players is immense, but the overall responsibility is mine and it's up to me to inspire them to a win.

"This result changes the nature of the group, and now we go to the final match against Valencia to decide our fate.

"Valencia are a team on the up in terms of results, and we will need Stamford Bridge fully behind us in order to find the right intensity, but it is in our hands and we expect to do our job. It's our responsibility and we don't want to let the fans down."

Villas-Boas feels that the club's run in the UEFA Champions League has been blighted by bad luck, from Salomon Kalou's handball at the Mestalla, or Florent Malouda's agonising miss against Genk, and the boss says if the club continue to work hard, luck will go their way.

"These small details have been deciding our fate lately, and tonight they made all the difference in how the game finished," he added.

"We were good and solid for most of the game, but not in those two situations where we were exposed.

"We believe a lot in the players' talent, and they believe in us as well.

"When you are experiencing a run of results as we are now, we go into every little detail and try to get them right, and we just have to continue to work, and believe that the win is close."

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Topics:
Didier Drogba
Football
Chelsea
Premier League

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