Villas-Boas retains title hopes

The 34-year-old still admits he is under pressure to lift the

Londoners up the table, however, and thinks next month could be key

to his future and that of the club. Chelsea had dropped to fifth in

the table after losing two of their previous three league games – a

run that included reverses against rivals Liverpool and Arsenal –

but they returned to winning ways at home today thanks to goals

from John Terry, Daniel Sturridge and Juan Mata. The team’s

performance was rusty at times, and Wolves’ poor marking made the

task much easier, but the Portuguese did take some encouragement

from ending the club’s losing streak. Villas-Boas’ team remain in

fifth and trail leaders Manchester City by nine points having

played one game more, but he still thinks catching Roberto

Mancini’s team is possible if they now go on a run. “I think we can

(win the title). We have most of the same players (who have won the

title before),” Villas-Boas said. “We have the talent and belief

will be the last thing to die with us. “Man City play tomorrow in a

difficult game (at Liverpool). “It’s difficult for us to look at a

distant leader. “In the past we have seen examples of us shortening

distances but for that example to serve as inspiration we need to

get the winning streak back like we did last year.” Villas-Boas had

spent most of this week trying to shake off the comparisons with

the winter slump the club endured under Carlo Ancelotti last season

– a slump that eventually cost the Italian his job. Ancelotti did

manage to engineer an upturn in form after the new year, however,

and Villas-Boas now hopes his side can emulate that run now after

finally putting an end to arguably his most tumultuous week in

charge at Stamford Bridge. “In my opinion chaos happened. We were

exposed a couple of times with group mistakes (in recent games),”

Villas-Boas said. “Now we have to correct them to make sure we are

on the right track. From now on so it’s a good challenge for the

team and hopefully we can now respond in this period. “December

will be important. We have a Champions League fixture still to play

but the rest of the games are in the Premier League and this month

will play a big part in what happens in the league. “We have some

important games. Newcastle away, Manchester City at home and

Tottenham away, these are difficult games but can make a difference

for us in the table.” Chelsea began nervously against Wolves this

afternoon, but Terry eased the tension in west London by beating

his marker to nod home Mata’s cross to put the Blues ahead in the

sixth minute. Sturridge made it 2-0 just before the half hour after

Mata wriggled past Ronald Zubar to supply the England striker,

before the Spaniard rounded off an impressive personal performance

by firing past Wayne Hennessey on the stroke of half-time following

Ashley Cole’s cross. Having made the worst start of any Blues boss

in the Roman Abramovich era, Villas-Boas was under intense pressure

before today’s game and he admits that pressure has not receded

despite taking three points against Wolves. “It does not take the

pressure off me. We have to continue to grow as a team,”

Villas-Boas said. “In recent games we did not deserve to lose, but

it influences opinions and that is part of the job.” Wolves sit

just above the relegation zone and have won just once in their last

11 games. Manager Mick McCarthy was disappointed to see his side

gift Chelsea a three-goal first half lead but was encouraged with

the more confident display they showed in the second period. “It

was not good enough from us,” McCarthy said. “At half-time I asked

them to salvage a bit of pride and self-respect. “Our fans were

fabulous. They paid £50 and at least we gave them something to

cheer, although we did not brighten their experience too much, at

least we gave them something to cheer about in the second half.”