Andre Villas-Boas admits Chelsea only have themselves to blame for being on the brink of crashing out of the Champions League ahead of their do-or-die showdown against Valencia.
Villas-Boas refused to contemplate the prospect of the Blues exiting the competition before Christmas for the first time or the ignominy of being the man in charge were it to happen. The 34-year-old last week insisted his job did not depend on the outcome of the game, which Chelsea must win or keep a clean sheet in to progress to the last 16.
"We just have ourselves to blame," said Villas-Boas, whose side threw away winning positions in their three away games at Valencia, Genk and Bayer Leverkusen.
He added: "During this campaign of five games, we've done pretty well in terms of performances, but the small details have gone away from us in the last couple of minutes, at Valencia and Leverkusen.
"If that hadn't happened, we would have been sitting here in a familiar position, like in the past, and, most likely, having qualified."
Asked whether failure would dent his personal pride, he said: "I'm not going to answer that question. My focus is on tomorrow's game, not what's going to happen after tomorrow's game."
He also sidestepped a question whether Tuesday's game was the biggest of his life, saying: "It's irrelevant what the game represents to me. Our mindset is to continue in the competition, so we approach the game with maximum care and with confidence for tomorrow."
Villas-Boas insisted there would be no change to the club's new attacking philosophy, despite a goalless draw being enough to progress.
"You've seen us play enough to know that we always take the initiative in a game," he said.
"Valencia will want to get something because a goal represents a lot to them, and makes things even more difficult for us. But we will try and take the initiative again and won't change our strategy."