Andre Villa-Boas was able to breathe a sight of relief following Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Wolves on Saturday, and is now targeting an extended winning run that will put his side back in the title race.
Goals from captain John Terry, Daniel Sturridge and Juan Mata helped the Blues claim three much needed points at Stamford Bridge after a run of form that had heaped pressure on the rookie boss.
Defeats against Arsenal, Liverpool and QPR in recent weeks left the Blues 12 points off league leaders Manchester City and prompted speculation owner Roman Abramovich may bring an abrupt end to the 34-year-old’s five months in charge, but the former Porto boss believes the win over Wolves could be a springboard back to form ahead of the busy Christmas period.
"This win won't automatically take us on a winning streak, but we hope it does," Villas-Boas said after the game.
"We have a big game against Liverpool in the Carling Cup next and this will be enough to give us desire to progress.
"We played with anxiety from the beginning (against Wolves) because of our recent run, but the players got the inspiration they needed to get the result and it was an important win for us.
"It's natural after the run we have had that self-confidence was a little low, but we got back on track. We are very proud of the team."
The win marked only Chelsea’s second league victory in five games, and Villas-Boas was equally impressed with his side’s defensive effort as they kept a clean sheet for only the third time in the league this season.
"The clean sheet was important for us," he commented.
"It was important for our pride, for our motivation. At Stamford Bridge we have conceded many in recent games so there is always that stigma from previous results, but I think the boys were solid and confident in defence."