AVB wants backing from the stands

PA Sport
Andre Villas-Boas

View photo

Andre Villas-Boas

Andre Villas-Boas has urged Chelsea fans to recreate the spirit of the club's famous 4-2 victory over Barcelona in tonight's do-or-die Champions League clash with Valencia.

The Blues play their final Group E game knowing they will crash out of the competition before Christmas for the first time ever unless they win or keep a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge. Failure would pile more pressure on manager Villas-Boas, who wants Chelsea's supporters to play as big a role as their heroes.

The 34-year-old, who was part of Jose Mourinho's backroom team when Chelsea knocked out Barcelona six years ago, said: "They can have a massive impact. They will have to unite themselves. I have good memories of top European nights at this club, and I know the atmosphere can be raised here, just like we did in the 4-2 against Barcelona."

He added: "If they do that, we would have the right ambience to take on Valencia with that extra input."

Chelsea need everyone pulling in the same direction and Villas-Boas admitted he had banished Nicolas Anelka and Alex from his first-team squad because their commitment to the cause could not be guaranteed.

He said of the duo, who have both submitted transfer requests: "The players are not being treated like criminals. It was discussed with with the board and the players.

"Their professionalism and integrity will never be in doubt, but we want the right mindset.

"For players on the transfer list, the reality is that, eventually, the mindset is not the same."

Villas-Boas shrugged off Frank Lampard's petulant reaction to being substituted during Saturday's Barclays Premier League win at Newcastle, saying: "Frank is a top professional and every player wants to spend more time on the pitch.

"But the manager decides things for the team. The manager makes the decision."

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so that everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Win cash in one day fantasy football contests. Join now!

    Learn how to play

    Contest Entries Entry Fee Prizes Starts (EDT)
    Premier League Cup Round 3 [£1.5K Free] 28653/500000 Free £1500 Saturday 10:00 AM Enter
    Champions League £1,000 Round 16 30/225 £5 £1000 Tomorrow 2:45 PM Enter
    Champions League £300 Round 16 71/340 £1 £300 Tomorrow 2:45 PM Enter