Italian football manager Carlo Ancelotti has urged Chelsea not to hold Andre Villas-Boas responsible for the poor performance of their team.
The defeat to Liverpool in the Carling Cup match on Tuesday was Villas-Boas' fifth loss in his last nine matches, and now he is in a do-or-die situation for the coming three games against Valencia, Manchester City and Newcastle, according to the Mirror.
"Villas-Boas cannot work miracles. This is an old team now. It is exactly the same team as the one I left, with the exception of Juan Mata and Raul Meireles," Ancelotti said.
He added: "The problem is not Villas-Boas, it is with the team that he has. Andre is young and inexperienced, but he has done well and he is talented. I feel Roman (Abramovich) needs to give him time to sort it out and make his ideas work."
Ancelotti was sacked in May due to his winter "bad moment" last season, scoring only 10 points from 11 games leading to the Blues ending the season empty-handed.
He has urged the club not to put pressure on Villas-Boas even if Chelsea are sent out of the Champions League by Valencia in the forthcoming match. He held the team responsible for the poor results, not the manager.
Ancelotti continued to live in London even after leaving Chelsea with the hope of making a comeback to the Premier League with another club in the capital. However, his words may not go well with the players he left behind at Stamford Bridge.
"The problem is in the organisation and with the players - all the things that they have to change to make it better. Maybe, he does lack experience. But they knew that when they appointed him. He needs time," Ancelotti added.
While Villas-Boas has been given private support by the Chelsea hierarchy, it is still possible that the club will ditch him if he cannot turn the season 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. 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," he maintains.
He said: "There are games in the Premier League where we must make the most of the December fixtures to get our challenge back on track. We have 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."
"Just because we've had this record recently doesn't mean it will continue to happen. We have to get the wins from the December fixtures to challenge for the Premier League if it's still available," he said.
"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," he added.