Squad right behind AVB – Mata

Villas-Boas, installed as 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 to QPR, Liverpool, Arsenal and Bayer

Leverkusen had left the 34-year-old Blues boss under pressure, but

he responded well on Saturday 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 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, and at the moment this club is fifth in the table,”

Villas-Boas said. “Hopefully we can get the results to get into a

decent position. “We just have to continue our work. 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 as the head of a

three-pronged attack with Sturridge and Mata. Torres, a British

record £50million purchase, may return to the starting XI for

Tuesday’s Carling Cup quarter-final against former club Liverpool,

and Villas-Boas has urged the Spaniard to be patient. “I’m sure

Fernando and the others will get a chance in the future,” he said.

“Fernando had a good run when he performed for the team, but we

decided in this run to go with Didier for consistency and to give

the team a reference point.”