Chelsea intend to continue to support manager Andre Villas-Boas, despite recent results. The Guardian says Chelsea will seek to continue reshaping their squad during January's transfer window, with the club's hierarchy hoping Villas-Boas will oversee the changes having steered the team out of their slump.

Faith in the Portuguese manager, who was prised away from Porto at a cost of £13.3m in the summer, is retained by Roman Abramovich and his board and the owner is apparently still intent on seeing Villas-Boas fulfil his potential at Stamford Bridge.

There is a recognition at the top that dismissing the 34-year-old and abandoning the experiment after a little over five months would amount to a huge loss of face and call into greater question whether there could ever be any long-term planning at the Premier League club.