Andre Villas-Boas needs time at Chelsea - Avram Grant

By Justin GouldingBBC Sport

Former Chelsea boss Avram Grant has urged the club not to sack manager Andre Villas-Boas.

The 34-year-old Portuguese, who was only appointed in June, has come under pressure after three defeats in five games left Chelsea fifth in the Premier League, 10 points off the top.

But Grant told BBC Sport: "It's tough times there but they signed a coach that deserves support.

"The results are not so good but they need to give him time."

The Blues were knocked out of the Carling Cup by Liverpool this week and will exit the Champions League at the group stage should they lose at home to Valencia on Tuesday.

Grant, who was sacked despite leading Chelsea to the Champions League final and second place in the Premier League in 2008, added: "They need to give him all the support that he needs.

"It's one of the things you need to give a new manager, especially him because he's young. He's facing new situations."

Villas-Boas is confident he can turn things around and believes he will continue to get the backing of owner Roman Abramovich - even if they exit the Champions League next week and fail to close the gap on leaders Manchester City.

He told a news conference on Thursday: "We just have to pull ourselves together again. I was brought in for a three-year project and we believe in that."

Grant thinks Chelsea will remain behind Villas-Boas.

He added: "In this situation, you need to be strong. There are serious people in charge and they know the situation is not so good.

"But they know there's a lot of time to recover. It will be good for everybody to be more patient - patience is always a good thing. I think it will happen."

Chelsea's next game is a Premier League fixture against Newcastle United, who lie one point above them in the table.

Villas-Boas said the Magpies were "surprising everybody" with their impressive form and praised manager Alan Pardew for the way they had performed this season.

He said: "Pardew has brought stability to Newcastle and a sense of serenity to the football club.

"They went on a fantastic run and gained an inner belief to continue further."

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