AVB: We must improve 300 per cent

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Football News

Andre Villas-Boas admitted the pressure is on everyone at Chelsea to quickly raise their game following yesterday's disappointing Premier League defeat against West Brom at The Hawthorns.

The Blues conceded an impressive 15 game winning streak against the Baggies when they were condemned to a 1-0 loss, leaving the club three points behind fourth-placed Arsenal in the race for Champions League qualification.

"Full credit to West Brom for a magnificent game, but we weren't good enough," Villas-Boas told the club's official website. "They won every first ball and every second ball. They were far superior and it was a big disappointment because we didn't build on the win against Bolton. It was a poor, poor display.

"We had an edge after the first 10 minutes when we had a couple of chances and we managed to get behind West Brom's defence. One goal then would have given us extra motivation and drive but to be fair, I don't think we deserved it because during the 90 minutes West Brom also had their chances and managed to create us lots of problems. There was a good intensity in their game and we weren't good enough."

Not for the first time, Chelsea's performance was way below the expected standards, with Villas-Boas highlighting his players' lack of precision in front of goal adding to the sides woes this season.

However, more concerning for the Stamford Bridge boss, was the indication that the all-round display suggested much wider problems for the Portuguese coach.

"Any manager that has a defeat at any top club has more pressure and today it is acceptable that pressure piles on a little bit more," he explained. "Our fans were excellent in their support and this defeat cannot be taken well because we had an outstanding record at the Hawthorns, and all disappointment from the fans is fully accepted.

"We had a win against Bolton that was extremely gratifying in the way it was obtained but now we have a defeat when we were extremely poor. We have three days before our cup tie and we have to improve 300 per cent."

Next up for Chelsea is an FA Cup fifth round replay away at Birmingham City after the two sides drew 0-0 in west London last month, before a crucial Champions League last-16 second leg clash at home to Napoli the week after.

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