AVB warns of the Kean edge

UNDER-PRESSURE boss Andre Villas-Boas retains belief about his Chelsea project as he bids to prevent his side’s recent slump becoming a full-blown crisis.

The Blues have not lost three Premier League games in a row since 1999 and failure to win today could see them drop out of the top four.

Chelsea have had problems with their own fans in recent days after a successful revolt against Roman Abramovich’s plans to buy the freehold of Stamford Bridge and the disgraceful taunting of Anton Ferdinand by some fans during Wednesday night’s Champions League game at Genk.

The Blues have also had to contend with the John Terry racism inquiry which looks set to drag on and more than one FA fine.

On top of all that, back-to-back Premier League defeats have left the Londoners nine points behind leaders Manchester City. So a trip to a club who are arguably in just as much turmoil after winning only one league game all season could be the ideal tonic.

But Villas-Boas said: “It would be wrong to think like that.

“Blackburn are a team that are going through ups and downs in terms of emotions — losses and draws at home; a public that have shown a bit of disrespect for their manager. Steve is my friend and I have high respect for what he’s done.

“It’s been going emotionally up and down at Blackburn.

“When a team is like that, you know the team can put up a proper challenge. We have to be up to our best again.”

Villas-Boas accused Blackburn fans of showing a lack of respect to Kean, who has faced a series of protests calling for his head this season and there looks set to be another one during the club’s latest home game.

Villas-Boas admitted Rovers fans had the “right to an opinion” but wondered if it was a fully informed one.

He added: “The owners and Steve live every day with that squad and know what they are capable of. This is not available to the fans.

“There is belief in that squad that they can turn things around.

“I believe that he can do a good job.”

Meanwhile, Morten Gamst Pedersen believes Ewood Park will be a tough place for Chelsea to change fortunes as Blackburn have rediscovered their “fighting spirit”.

“We are going to be a tough team to beat at Ewood.

“We need the points and we want to show everyone at Blackburn Rovers what we are made of.

“We beat Arsenal, we beat Newcastle at home, we had a good game against Tottenham as well so I think Chelsea know it’s going to be a tough game.”

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