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Villas-Boas stands firm on Chelsea vision

CHELSEA'S default position is often to adopt a siege mentality and manager Andre Villas-Boas has claimed the club's "castle is not down" after what he admitted, nevertheless, had been a "disastrous week in terms of results".

In the rarefied company that Chelsea keep at football's top table, back-to-back Premier League defeats do, no matter the circumstances, constitute something of a drama, sometimes a crisis, even if the club also moved into the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup.

Villas-Boas was, with a bullish candour, manning the ramparts, and went on the attack while reiterating that he would "never" change his attacking philosophy come what may.

"I think you have to be frank and say that our progress was stopped in a disastrous week for us in terms of results," Villas-Boas said, reflecting on the 1-0 defeat away by Queens Park Rangers and then even more dramatic 5-3 loss at home to Arsenal.

"But you cannot say it's all gone to ruins. That's not true. It doesn't mean that what's being built is wrong, that the philosophy is wrong, and that we're not on the right track. We are on the right track.



Punished

"What we are building is still right. We have been punished in the last week in terms of the results, but it's up to us to take on the challenge.

"We represent a massive club and we're not running away from the mistakes, but we have to move on."

Moving on would, normally, include concentrating on tonight's Champions League tie away to KRC Genk, but Villas-Boas knew the agenda would be dominated by domestic matters even if he also disclosed that Didier Drogba -- serving a suspension at home -- had undergone surgery to remove a metal plate from his arm.

"We took the risk based on his domestic suspension and the forthcoming international break to remove six of the eight screws from his arm," he said of the striker. It is hoped Drogba will now return after the international break.

It was, Villas-Boas, said "not normal" to concede five goals at home -- as, he was acutely aware, had been constantly pointed out since last Saturday amid a swathe of statistics -- but he strongly denied that he had "ranted" at the players before training on Sunday. "There was a conversation as there would always be after a game," he added.

"We had a very bad week. But that doesn't mean our castle went down.

"We have to recover. This pattern happens to the best teams in the world.

"We have the talent, the experience and the ability to do so."

Asked whether he would consider, as Alex Ferguson did in grinding out a 1-0 victory for Manchester United away to Everton last Saturday, a more defensive approach, Villas-Boas bridled: "There'll never be a change of approach from me. Never."

Villas-Boas can, he maintained, win the league this way even if Ferguson is more sceptical.

Certainly the Belgian champions, beaten 5-0 at Stamford Bridge a fortnight ago and still reduced by injury and suspension, would appear ideal fodder for Chelsea right now.

The defender Branislav Ivanovic also spoke of how each Chelsea player needed to "look in the mirror" after the events of last Saturday.

"A great reaction of the group would be good to show how we are strong," the Serb said.

That starts here, in Belgium.


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