• Manager insists he has Roman Abramovich's backing
• 'We have set out to build something new at this club'
André Villas-Boas has claimed he retains the support of the Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, after a third defeat in four Premier League matches cast his side further adrift in the title race.
The loss to Liverpool, confirmed by the former Chelsea player Glen Johnson's late goal, condemned the London side to successive home league defeats for the first time in the Abramovich era to leave them 12 points off Manchester City at the summit. The team still appear riddled by defensive frailties and are now one of four clubs on 22 points, suggesting even their long-term place in the top four should be considered in doubt.
This club's willingness to sack managers, particularly when future Champions League participation appears to be in doubt, was established with the dismissal of Luiz Felipe Scolari in February 2009 after seven months in the role. When asked if he was concerned about Abramovich's lack of patience, Villas-Boas replied: "It's not a question of the owner having patience. We have set out to build something new at this club, and the club is committed to taking on what we're building into the future.
"The owner didn't pay €15m [in compensation] to get me out of Porto only to pay me another fortune just to let me go again. Our commitment is towards the club and what we are doing in the future. We have enough talent to compete in all competitions, and that's the perspective we take at the moment."
Villas-Boas has lost twice as many points – 14 – from his first 12 league games in charge as Scolari did in 2008-09, though even with the club's desire to reinvigorate the squad, the Portuguese is adamant this should not be considered a season of transition. "Given the dimension of our club, you cannot forget that your fans expect you to win titles. We have to respond to the confidence of the fans.
"There's no running away from responsibilities. There's no calling this a transitional period. We're not asking for time to work. Our responsibility is to win trophies. We're in four still, and we still have the possibility to win them. This has not been the brightest of starts for Chelsea in the Premier League in the last 10 years. It doesn't look good being 12 points behind the leaders, and such strong leaders, too. But the belief is there. The December fixtures give us hope if we're able to make the most of them."
Liverpool have now won three successive games against this opposition for the first time since the early 1970s, with the visitors' midfielder Charlie Adam dedicating the victory to the memory of Luca Jones, the five-year-old son of Liverpool's reserve goalkeeper, Brad Jones, who died this week of leukaemia.
Kenny Dalglish has not lost in 12 matches as Liverpool's manager against Chelsea, having prevailed here 1-0 last season, though he suggested this was a better display. "We scored twice as many goals, for a start," he said. "We looked a better team, especially in the first half. Last year it was pretty defensive. This year, we stood up and stood against them."
The visitors were able to capitalise on increasingly familiar, shaky Chelsea defending, with Petr Cech and Mikel John Obi at fault for the opener, and Ashley Cole and Florent Malouda bypassed by Johnson for the winner. Villas-Boas insisted he can restore solidity to the team with these personnel, despite opting against selecting Alex, who has appeared only three times this season in the league but featured in both of this side's clean sheets, at Stoke and Blackburn.
There was criticism of David Luiz from the television pundit Gary Neville, with the former Manchester United player suggesting the Brazilian appeared to be "being controlled by a 10-year-old in the crowd with a PlayStation". "Gary was a fantastic defender but I have nothing to say about his opinion," Villas-Boas said. "It's a stupid approach to an opinion, but if that's the way he wants to take the game, that's ridiculous.
"The amount of goals we are conceding is something that worries me, of course. But we trust our defensive organisation. It's immense talent that we have at our disposal and we believe we'll get it right. We need to organise ourselves a little bit better. At the moment we are, as players and staff, on a bad run and the perception is we need to win every game if we are to maintain a title challenge. The situation in the league may not be good for us. But it's not impossible to turn it around. "