Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has accepted responsibility for his side’s heartbreaking 2-1 Champions League loss at Bayer Leverkusen.
The visitors took the lead through Didier Drogba three minutes into the second half, but a header from Eren Derdiyok and an injury-time winner from Manuel Freidrich conspired to defeat Villas-Boas’ men.
The result leaves Chelsea needing to defeat Valencia at Stamford Bridge in a fortnight’s time to make sure of their place in the last 16 and the Portuguese coach said he was ultimately responsible for the side’s failure.
“Confidence is low, but they expect the manager to inspire them,” Villas-Boas said.
“That’s my job, to motivate and inspire these people. Their talent is immense, the work rate is good but the responsibility is mine.”
“I have to motivate them to get a win against Wolves (on Saturday) and then against Liverpool in the Carling Cup (on Tuesday).”
“Little details are deciding our fate at the moment, but we’re all committed to this squad and these players, we believe in their talent. We have to find a way out.”
“We’re in a negative spiral of results. The team want to get out of it desperately and the only thing we can do is work even harder to achieve that.”
“This is a critical moment for our team and we will need the fans behind us. We were good and solid here but, in two situations from set pieces, we left our back exposed.”
“Now we go into the final game against Valencia to decide our qualification. They are a team on the up and we’ll need Stamford Bridge behind us to get the intensity right.”
Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack was involved in most Leverkusen attacks, and almost scored in the 33rd minute when his header came off the crossbar.
“It’s always a little bit lucky if you score in the last minute, but we believed,” Ballack said.
“A draw would have been deserved but we got the victory. They are not in the best moment but of course, in the end it was a little bit lucky.”
“Every team has difficult moments, and they are in one now. But I know their players are very competitive and I think they will come back. They have a strong side and they will be back.”