Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has launched a staunch defence of his footballing philosophy, insisting it is no "cancer" and that he will stay at Stamford Bridge even if the season ends in failure.
Under-fire: Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas. Pic/Getty Images
The Blues have won just one of their last seven games in all competitions and lost a League Cup quarter-final against Liverpool on Tuesday.
They also need to beat Valencia in their final Champions League group game next week if they are to be assured of a place in the last 16. But Villas-Boas, whose side face fourth-placed Newcastle at St James' Park today, insists the season is still going according to plan. The Portuguese boss has been criticised for his tactics, most notably his insistence on keeping a high defensive line despite a lack of mobility and pace in Chelsea's back four.
But he said: "The philosophy is not a cancer. We are not speaking about something that is wrong. We are speaking about something we like to do and we do it with pride, which is good football. I don't think it is at crisis point.
"We have to pull ourselves together. We can only apply ourselves to hard work and believe we are going to get out of this situation."