Lampard comes out in defence of Villas-Boas

Frank Lampard has stated that Chelsea’s slump in form is down to the players, and not under-fire manager Andre Villas Boas.

The Stamford Bridge club dropped out of the top four with a 2-0 defeat to Everton on Saturday, with talks of crisis heightened by Roman Abramovich’s presence at the club’s Cobham training ground.

Despite rumblings that the Portuguese coach’s job may be under threat, Lampard feels the players are just as much to blame as their boss.

“Of course we do, it’s a group thing,” the England international told Chelsea TV when asked if the players need to look at themselves after the defeat.

“It was a bad performance from start to finish.

“When you come to Everton, the one thing you know they’re going to do is fight you, press you and make things tough and we didn’t react to that.

“We created two or three chances and that’s not up to standard. We can only take that on the chin and apologise to the people who came up and watched it because that’s not good enough for Chelsea.

“We have been fighting to win leagues. Now, we are fighting for fourth and that hurts, so we have to react.

“We know we are in a bad way and we have to dig ourselves out of it.

“Different players do come in but whoever plays has to live up to the standards we have set.

“If we play like we did at Everton against Napoli, we will give ourselves a mountain to climb,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, the club have also confirmed that John Terry is back in training after a knee injury, and will look to make a return to action in coming weeks.

By Gareth McKnight