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The under-fire Portuguese coach has rejected claims from predecessor Carlo Ancelotti that his older player are the cause of the Blues' recent troubles, insisting on optimism

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas is in defiant mood despite another setback as his side were defeated 2-0 by Liverpool in the League Cup on Tuesday.

The Portuguese coach rejected suggestions, backed by his predecessor Carlo Ancelotti, that his older players are in decline and are pulling the team down with them, and is remaining bullish that the Blues will turn things around.

“I don't think this is the sign of an ageing team. It was our decision to stick with these players because we believe in them,” Villas-Boas told The Daily Mirror.

“We don't like being out of the Carling Cup, but now we have to look forward to the challenge we have ahead of us.

“We've lost one competition, we're not looking good in the Premier League, but we believe we can go on a good run of games to take us to another position.

“Also, the FA Cup and Champions League remain for us, with a game against Valencia where we have to be at our best standard to beat them, because they are a team on a good run of form."

The 34-year-old insisted: “Just because we've had this record recently doesn't mean it will continue to happen.”

The showdown with La Liga outfit Valencia on December 6 will decide which of the sides joins Bayer Leverkusen in the knockout stages of the Champions League, with Chelsea needing either a win or a goalless draw to progress.

That comes after Saturday’s Premier League away trip to Newcastle, who find themselves a point ahead of Villas-Boas’ men going into the match.

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