Villas-Boas: We need full support
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has told the club's supporters they must be more tolerant with the players to have a chance of taking the Premier League trophy from Manchester United.
The former Porto manager, who is hoping a deal for Valencia forward Juan Mata is near completion, tasted competitive victory with his new club for the first time on Saturday when Chelsea came from behind to beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.
West Brom had led 1-0 at half-time thanks to an early goal from Shane Long, and many Chelsea supporters booed the home team off the pitch at the break.
Villas-Boas called upon the club's followers to be more supportive in future, however. "For us to go through an intense Premier League season we need support, a good environment and good commitment from the public," Villas-Boas said.
"We need a good empathy from the public to this team to be champions again. This team wants to be champions again and the public demands it. We are listening to their demands and we want to perform, but we need the full support."
Chelsea had been poor in the first half, and the goal they conceded in the fourth minute was certainly avoidable. Ramires played a sloppy pass to centre-back Alex, who was robbed by Long, who sprinted away to score.
Anelka's equaliser was helped past goalkeeper Ben Foster via a deflection off the leg of defender Jonas Olsson in the 53rd minut,e but Chelsea were already looking more cohesive by that point.
West Brom continued to create occasional chances themselves, but were undone seven minutes from time by a fine move from Jose Bosingwa, who cleverly beat two opponents in one go and crossed to the back post where Malouda, who had come on before half-time for Salomon Kalou, applied a cool finish.
"Today was a very emotional game and the emotional part of the game was the main difference between the first half and the second," Villas-Boas explained. "In the first half we suffered a little bit from anxiety.
"The players couldn't express themselves to their full talent and I don't think that was anything to do with the changes that we made. Our half-time talk was to free them from the anxiety.
"The public was anxious, the players were anxious, but there was still 45 minutes to play and anything could happen. And when you do find the back of the net then the emotional impact on the opponent is tremendous. We felt very confident to go in search of the second goal."