AVB defends decision to leave out duo

Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas defended his decision not to start with Frank Lampard or Ashley Cole in the Champions League defeat against Napoli.

Lampard was again named among the substitutes and had to wait until the 70th minute to be introduced along with fellow midfielder Michael Essien, who was also ommited from the starting line-up.

Villas-Boas opted not to start with Cole, who has been nursing an injury, only to bring the full-back on when Jose Bosingwa limped off after only 12 minutes of the Blues’ 3-1 loss in Naples.

Villas-Boas faced some tough choices.

The under-pressure manager explained: “The two sitting midfielders were chosen on the basis of hardworking midfielders sitting in front of the defence. ‘Lamps’ can do it, but it’s the decision we took.”

He added:: “Those who were on the pitch have been doing magnificently well and that’s why the choice was taken.

“We had a conversation with Ashley and Frank. They felt they could help the team, which is perfectly understandable.

“They were disappointed but it’s a decision they have to accept and we move on.”

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