ANDRE Villas-Boas has told Chelsea: stick with me, or the managerial merry-go-round will never stop.
Villas-Boas, the seventh manager of Roman Abramovich's nine-season ownership, continues to struggle to impress, with Blues on the brink of Champions League elimination, and Frank Lampard admitting dressing room relations are 'not ideal'.
A 3-0 win over lowly Bolton last weekend was followed by a tetchy press conference from the manger, in which he told reporters: “The day that I feel disrespected in some way about my professionalism, you will find a different person speaking to you.”
There was no disrespect when he gave an hour-long interview in his mother tongue to Portuguese radio, during which he appeared to suggest he was lucky to still be in a job.
Villas-Boas said: “The pattern of behaviour of the owner has led to a downfall of managers in similar situations, or even ‘better’ situations. What will be his reaction?
"It will be one of two: either a continuation of the project and full support from above; or a continuation of the cultural pattern that has happened before.
"We don’t know. We don’t know if it’ll be tomorrow or in two years from now. It’ll depend upon what is your understanding of what is happening at the moment.”
It says much about Chelsea's present predicament that the coming trips to West Brom and Birmingham (the latter in the FA Cup) are seen not as the bankers of recent years, but as a real challenge.
Blues have a 13-game winning run against the Baggies, reaching back to 1993 – but are on a present all-competitions run of one win in six games.
Chelsea have a real chance to regain fourth spot this weekend, with two of their main rivals for it – Liverpool and Arsenal – facing each other at Anfield.
It is also the case that at least one of the sides above them in the league will drop points due to Manchester United's trip to White Hart Lane.