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Mata insists Blues squad are behind Villas-Boas

JUAN Mata insists Andre Villas-Boas has the total backing of the Chelsea squad.

Villas-Boas, installed as Blues' manager this summer following the departure of Carlo Ancelotti, was forced to deny reports last week that some members of the Chelsea squad had become unhappy with his tactics.

Recent defeats by QPR, Liverpool, Arsenal and Bayer Leverkusen had left the 34-year-old boss under pressure, but he responded well by guiding his team to a comfortable 3-0 win over Wolves at Stamford Bridge.

Mata was the architect of the midlanders' downfall, setting up John Terry and Daniel Sturridge for the first two goals before adding his own on the stroke of half-time to seal the win.

The Spain international was happy to see his team return to winning ways after a difficult run and rubbished talk of a rift between Villas-Boas and the Chelsea squad.

"It's never easy to have such negative results, but we all have a lot of faith in ourselves as a team. We have a lot of faith in our coach and in the quality of the squad," Mata said.

"We had a team meeting last week simply to reiterate that we are all together and that we are heading in the same direction and we showed that against Wolves.

"The group has always been very united, and we have always been sure that the secret in enjoying more success as we go forward, in getting out of this moment, has been to stay strong and stay together."


Chelsea will come up against Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester City and Valencia in their upcoming fixtures, and Villas-Boas knows he still has a lot of work to do to drag his team back into the title race.

The Portuguese was happy to get back to winning ways, however, and reaffirmed his belief that his squad is capable of challenging in all competitions this season.

"It was important for us to win, but it's not about me, it's about this club," he said. "We trust these players to take us to four trophies and I believe in them."

Fernando Torres was left on the bench for Saturday's win, with Villas-Boas preferring to use Didier Drogba alongside Sturridge and Mata.

Torres may return to the starting 11 for tomorrow's Carling Cup quarter-final against former club Liverpool. "I'm sure Fernando and the others will get a chance in the future," Villas-Boas added.