Villas-Boas frank about Lampard
Andre Villas-Boas is confident Frank Lampard will still be at Chelsea next season, despite the pair's widely-publicised falling out.
Blues boss Villas-Boas stopped short of promising Lampard would not leave this summer but insisted no-one wanted him to do so. Lampard admit for the first time on the weekend his relationship with Villas-Boas had "not been ideal", although he was keen not to dwell on the problems between them.
Villas-Boas has already warned of a summer clearout should he remain in charge but he made it clear yesterday he did not want Lampard to be part of the cull.
Asked if he was 100 per cent sure the 33-year-old would be at the club next season, he said: "I hope so. It does not depend on me. It depends on three parts - I want him, the person wants to stay and the club wants him."
Even before Lampard made three separate bits of history by scoring his 12th goal of the season in yesterday's desperately-needed 3-0 Premier League win over Bolton, his was the name on the lips of the Stamford Bridge crowd.
"Super Frankie Lampard", they sang about the man who repaid their adulation with the 150th league goal of his career and his 125th in the league for Chelsea - taking him ahead of the legendary Jimmy Greaves.
Perhaps more significantly, the 33-year-old became the first player to reach double figures in the Premier League for nine consecutive seasons. It was also the fourth time this term Lampard had scored after being dropped by Villas-Boas, who refused to bow to fan pressure to play him.
Insisting the crowd sang the midfielder's name "all the time", he said: "I take no instructions from anybody."
He added: "Frank goes on and on breaking the club's records and that is important for him. I congratulate him for that. He is a player who has been involved with all managers before and played in most of the games.
"The only difference this year from the years before is that we have more competition in midfield and things become more difficult for everybody. But Frank is now in the top five of players most used so he is up there with the best."
Yesterday saw Lampard help ease the pressure on Villas-Boas, who looked visibly relieved after what was a first win in six attempts - and in front of Roman Abramovich to boot. He said: "We have not been getting the results and pressure increases on team players and management. You have to deal with that and deliver."
Insisting he had never begun to doubt himself, he admitted his players may have lost some belief and said they now needed a run of victories to get it back. "I just want to go into a run of results, win the next game and build something that we have been missing since the beginning of the season.
"If we get three or four wins in a row, it means a lot because of the knockout ties and that will give us the extra lift and motivation to maybe challenge for another place."
Bolton vow to succeed
Bolton are in even more dire need of a run of victories after slumping to a third successive league defeat that left them marooned in the drop zone. Manager Owen Coyle said: "Nobody's hurting more than me, I love winning matches.
"As a manager, you're not just responsible for yourself, you're responsible for a team, a club and a whole town and that's nothing you take lightly. So, we're hurting but we know we can address that. It's a 38-game league and, over those games, we have to make sure we stay in the league. We're convinced we can do it."
Insisting they could survive even without the injured Stuart Holden and Lee Chung-Young, he added: "Don't forget that I came to Bolton when they were bottom of the league two years ago, so it's nothing new for us to be in that area of the league and have to address it - and that's what we're going to do."