Villas-Boas not to blame for slide, says Cech

CHELSEA goalkeeper Petr Cech has leapt to the defence of under-fire manager Andre Villas-Boas, insisting the players must accept culpability for a dismal run of form which has seen the club slide to the brink of Champions League elimination.

Defeat in Leverkusen on Wednesday night, a fourth loss in the last five games in all competitions, means Chelsea must beat Valencia at Stamford Bridge in a fortnight’s time, or hold the Spaniards to a goalless draw, if they are to reach the knockout stages for a 10th consecutive season.

Villas-Boas, 34, recruited in the summer from Porto, has had to field questions over his future following the sequence of poor results, but Cech admits the Portuguese is powerless to prevent the individual mistakes that have cost Chelsea dear of late.

He said: “The manager is not on the pitch, we are on the pitch and we are making mistakes. So the players are to blame and we know it and we try to make things happen and change. It is not easy but we keep going.

“We need to look at ourselves and then we can criticise others because we put ourselves in the situation where we were 1-0 up and we could have killed the game off. Then there would be no discussion whatsoever.”