What Saturday’s papers are saying:
THE GUARDIAN: A defiant Andre Villas-Boas has claimed he does not need Guus Hiddink’s help to transform Chelsea’s season and that Roman Abramovich is still fully supportive despite a dire run of form that will become three consecutive defeats if Wolverhampton Wanderers win at Stamford Bridge this afternoon. Also: Lewis Hamilton’ s outstanding form continued here yesterday when he beat Sebastian Vettel to top place in the second practice session for tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos.
THE SUN: Wayne Rooney has slammed calls for the sacking of Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas. Also: Andre Villas-Boas would rather quit Chelsea than work with Guus Hiddink. Also: Fabio Capello insists he is not talking to Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala.
DAILY MAIL: Martin Johnson yesterday fired back at criticism of England’s rugby set-up even as he conceded the English game has reached ‘rock bottom’. Also: Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas last night admitted for the first time that he is fighting to save his job.
DAILY MIRROR: Andre Villas-Boas last night conceded he is fighting to keep his job after Chelsea’s nightmare slump. Also: Martin Johnson broke his silence last night to voice his horror at the toxic fall-out from England’s Rugby World Cup debacle.
DAILY EXPRESS: Martin Johnson, England’s departed team manager, bit back last night as he described leaks of World Cup feedback as “one of the worst things I have experienced in rugby”. Also: Andre Villas-Boas has admitted he is fighting for his job as manager of Chelsea.
DAILY STAR: Andre Villas-Boas last night admitted he WILL face the sack if Chelsea’s slump continues. Also: Luis Suarez has been granted more time by the FA to prepare his defence against allegations of racism.
THE INDEPENDENT: Martin Johnson looked like he had seen a ghost - hardly surprising, in light of the ghoulish coverage of his England team’s spectacular pratfall at the World Cup in New Zealand - but he still had enough of the old fighting spirit to mount a fierce defence of a campaign that has sent Twickenham into meltdown and set players tearing at each other’s throats in the pages of three leaked reports. Also: Roberto Mancini yesterday insisted that he would not buy another striker in January, despite Manchester City’s Spanish scout having met Napoli’s Edinson Cavani this week and Milan contacting the manager directly to discuss Carlos Tevez.
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: James Haskell, the England forward, is threatening to sue the woman who falsely claimed she had been seriously sexually harassed by him and team-mates Chris Ashton and Dylan Hartley in a hotel room during the World Cup in New Zealand, the Daily Telegraph can reveal. Also: Chelsea players have been told by the board that Andre Villas-Boas enjoys the total backing of the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich.
THE TIMES: Andre Villas-Boas believes that he has the full backing of Roman Abramovich and his Chelsea players after meetings this week to discuss an alarming slump. Also: Martin Johnson come out fighting with customary vigour yesterday to defend England’s discredited World Cup and his part in it.