Juan Mata has admitted Chelsea have two months to save their season following Andre Villas-Boas’ sacking.
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Winger Mata, who on Sunday night became the first member of the squad to comment on Villas-Boas’ departure when he wished the Portuguese luck, insisted the Blues have what it takes to turn their miserable campaign around.
Chelsea’s players have been accused by some of getting Villas-Boas the sack following widely-publicised claims of dressing-room unrest at Stamford Bridge.
There is no suggestion Mata was part of any mutiny, the 23-year-old having been one of the first signings of Villas-Boas’ tenure.
And he claimed he and his team-mates were ready to unite behind caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo and snatch fourth place in the Barclays Premier League and keep their FA Cup and Champions League dream alive.
"I think we have to start again," Mata told Chelsea TV.
"We are not in a good moment, we are not in a good run of results, but we all want to change it. I think we are ready to change it.
"We have a very good squad and we have two months to achieve our objectives in the Premier League, in the FA Cup and Champions League."
Mata has been one of the rare success stories of Villas-Boas’ reign but even his form began to suffer as Chelsea embarked on a run of just five wins in 16 games.
It was this sequence that prompted owner Roman Abramovich to act and also, reportedly, read the riot act to the squad shortly after sacking Villas-Boas on Sunday.
Centre-back David Luiz, who Villas-Boas spent much of his time defending against criticism over his error-strewn performances, today thanked the Portuguese.
He said on Twitter: "Thanks AVB! You are an amazing guy! Big hug."