Andre Villas-Boas says he will not be sacked by Chelsea this season

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas claims club owner Roman Abramovich has promised not to sack him - even if he fails to win a trophy this season.

The Blues face Newcastle on Saturday after losing five of their last nine games, including three at home.

Villas-Boas did admit a trophy less campaign would be a "failure".

But the Chelsea boss added: "I have that assurance [that I won't be sacked]. The board have been fully supportive."

Chelsea were knocked out of the League Cup by Liverpool on Tuesday.

They now face a crucial period in their season - beginning with Saturday's visit to Newcastle, followed by a Champions League group tie with Valencia on Tuesday.

The Blues must win or keep a clean sheet in their final group game at Stamford Bridge if they are to progress.

After that, they host Premier League leaders Manchester City on Monday, 12 December - who they already trail by 10 points.

Under Abramovich, Claudio Ranieri, Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Carlo Ancelotti have all left because of results.

But Villas-Boas reckons he will not be sacked - citing his three-year contract and the fact the Russian owner paid £13m to release him from former club Porto - as proof.

The Chelsea boss also defended his side's attacking style of play and says he has the backing of his players.

He added: "They [the players] will never lose faith because the philosophy is not a cancer of this football club. The philosophy is not the reason why we are losing games, it's a misconception.

"Philosophy is playing good football for the fans - good football to try to win games. We have been trying to do that."

Villas-Boas, who also has the backing of former Chelsea boss Avram Grant, added: "We just have to pull ourselves together again. I was brought in for a three-year project and we believe in that."

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