Chelsea's Andre Villas-Boas 'does not care' if he is unpopular

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Defeat would end title hopes - Villas-Boas

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas says he does not mind if he is disliked, even by his players, and is standing by his attack on the club's critics.

Asked whether being liked by his team or other people bothered him, he said: "I don't care."

After Tuesday's Champions League win over Valencia, the Chelsea boss had claimed the Blues were being persecuted by the media.

He added: "A lot of things that were said, most of the things were wrong."

Speaking ahead of Monday's game against league leaders Manchester City, Villas-Boas discussed the criticism he and his side have faced.

He said: "I think it's fair to say we were chased a little bit. It's fair for you guys to admit that the media darlings of the press at the moment are blue coloured - but not Chelsea.

"But we do not inspire ourselves from your positivity or your negativity. We have to do our jobs. But we were fairly treated by yourselves at the beginning. It's a love-hate relationship.

"One day I will open the doors of training for you guys for a couple of days and you will see the players have the talent and ability and want to compete.

"That's what we hold on to during extreme criticism."

Having kept alive their Champions League hopes, Chelsea will aim to close the gap on Manchester City when the sides meet at Stamford Bridge. A defeat for the London club would leave them 13 points adrift of City.

Villas-Boas commented: "If they [City] get the result that they want, which is a win, they will come out almost with the assurance that their title challenge has at least one team less.

"There is no quitting. But 13 points would be a massive gap."

He added: "Let's see what happens after all the December fixtures. We have recovered a couple of points recently, from 12 to 10 points.

"Getting back to seven would be ideal because it would put Man City very close to us. Thirteen points would be a bigger step - a difficult task to do but not impossible for sure."

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