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Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 1 November, 2014

Chelsea’s new defensive duo are AOK, says AVB

“It just takes time, it’s a new partnership and you have to get used to the person next to you.”"

CHELSEA MANAGER ANDRE Villas-Boas is confident his new centre-back pairing of Gary Cahill and David Luiz will soon be a success.

The Portuguese coach took the blame for the Blues’ 3-1 defeat against Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday, after leaving key figures such as Ashley Cole and Michael Essien on the bench.

Villas-Boas insisted he has faith in David Luiz and Gary Cahill as a centre-back pairing, but insisted successful defensive partnerships do not blossom overnight. The 34-year-old coach told reporters on Friday: “At the moment we have a new partnership that we are trying to fine-tune to be more stable at the back, like we were in January.”

“Both of them are very extroverted. Gary speaks a lot, organises a lot. It is not about communication. It just takes time, it’s a new partnership and you have to get used to the person next to you.”

“I am happy with Gary. He has been excellent in the games he has played.”

Both full-back slots in the Chelsea team have also been chopping and changing over the past month, and Cahill believes it will take time for the defence to adjust.

“There have been changes made so it’s not something that will click right in to place straight away,” Cahill told the club’s official website. ”It’s different. The full-backs have changed so I’m not going to lie and say it’s fantastically easy.”

“We have had some sticky results of late and I have been plonked straight in the middle of it all so it’s been difficult, but the more work we do on the training ground the better it will be.”

Old friends

This weekend Chelsea face Bolton, a team they beat 5-1 back in October, but Villas-Boas is expecting the Wanderers to be a different prospect this time around.

“That was maybe our strongest period of the season,” Villas-Boas said. “The first three or four months were the best. Now we are colliding with maybe our worst period of the season.”

“In October, Bolton’s motivation was a little bit down due to the results they were having but they have turned it around a bit.  I think it will be a difficult game now but we have this willingness to turn things around and hopefully we will win against Bolton.

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