Feb 9 2012 By Yann Tear
Everton v Chelsea - Saturday, 3pm
ANDRE Villas-Boas admits Chelsea go to Everton on Saturday still slightly in the doldrums over last weekend's surrender of a 3-0 lead against Manchester United.
The Blues boss has to pick up players who felt deflated to have allowed the champions to hit back when the game appeared to have been taken by the scruff of the neck at the start of the second half.
“There has been big disappointment this week, of course,” Villas-Boas said.
“From 3-0 to 3-3 is hard to take. We are firm believers that we could have done the same at Old Trafford. We had a big chance to go 3-2 and I think we were in with a chance of drawing that game as well.
“From 3-0 to 3-3 is nothing new in the recent past. Liverpool won a Champions League from a position like that, but it's events you have to avoid. It was a good lead that we had and unfortunately we let the game slip.”
On the plus side, Chelsea welcome back Ashley Cole, who served a one game ban against United, while John Obi Mikel and Frank Lampard are back in the reckoning.
Mikel, back from a hamstring injury picked up seven weeks ago at Spurs, has trained all week without a hitch, and Lampard has only missed a day as he eases back from a calf strain.
But both Ramires and John Terry - given time off this week - will be absent again against opponents the Blues will not make the mistake of treating lightly, as was recently the case with Roberto Mancini's Manchester City.
“We never underestimate Everton because our record at Goodison is not impressive,” Villas-Boas said.
“It's a difficult place to go – and a team that has made a great transfer market without a lot of noise.
“It's fantastic to see a player like Darron Gibson playing more often, because he's a player of immense talent. Landon Donovan is also coming back to a place that he knows well and I think the additions they made were fantastic.
“They have improved a level and made it even more difficult. They are always a solid team that can create problems, plus the environment of Goodison Park is never easy.”