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The Blues manager insists the former Bolton Wanderers defender, who arrived at Stamford Bridge in January, was ill leading up to the Everton loss which was why he did not feature

Andre Villas-Boas had denied snubbing Gary Cahill last weekend in Chelsea’s 2-0 loss to Everton.

The January signing, bought for an estimated £8 million from Bolton Wanderers, has made just one appearance for his new side since his January switch, in the 3-3 home draw with Manchester United.

The 26-year-old was expected to feature the following weekend against Everton, but failed to appear.

Villas-Boas insisted the centre-back’s absence was because was due to illness leading up to the game against the Toffees, but moved quickly to praise his “excellent” performance against the Red Devils a week prior.

“He was ill – Gary was ill all of last week,” the Portuguese coach told the Fulham  & Hammersmith Chronicle. “That's why we didn't decide to put him onto Everton.

“He only trained once: that's why he didn't have that continuity that he expected for the game against Everton.

“Nothing else, because his performance was excellent against United.”