Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has for the first time spoke of his fear that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich will sack him after the club's poor run of form.

Up until now Villas-Boas has maintained that he is confident that Abramovich would maintain faith with him despite disappointing results that see Chelsea in fifth place in the Barclays Premier League and facing elimination in the Champions League.

However, it now appears that Villas-Boas has concerns that he could go the same way as Carlo Ancelotti and Luiz Felipe Scolari, who were both dismissed by Abramovich in recent seasons.

We are now in the exact same moment as last year, Villas-Boas told Portugal's TSF radio, according to the Guardian. It is an exact copy.

I think I have felt the confidence from Abramovich but ... the pattern of behavior of the owner has led to a downfall [of coaches] in similar situations or even 'better' situations.

Ancelotti was sacked after the club finished second in the Premier League last season after claiming a league and FA Cup double the season before. While Scolari was dismissed in February of 2009 with the club fourth in the Premier League.

The Portuguese coach then went on to almost challenge Chelsea's Russian owner to keep faith with him and continue a reinvention of the playing squad rather than persist with a short-term policy that has hampered the team's development.

What will be the reaction? It will be one of the two, a continuation of the project and full support or just the cultural pattern that has happened before. We don't know.

It is a brave man that comes out and openly challenges Abramovich in this way, though it is hard to dispute Villas-Boas' line of argument.

The 34-year-old boss was brought in at great expense last summer, with the idea surely to overhaul a team that had become slow and predictable as older players have failed to be replaced.

While one can question Villas-Boas' approach in achieving that aim, it is hard to disagree with his belief that Chelsea needs to become less reliant on the likes of Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and John Terry.

The former Porto boss had a particular style of intense pressing and fast-paced attacks, both of which are not possible with the status-quo at Chelsea. For the Stamford Bridge outfit to have any chance of progressing, as well as maintaining any respect within the soccer world, Abramovich must surely keep faith with his beleaguered coach.

But if results do not improve in the short-term, Villas-Boas knows that Abramovich may get that firing itch once more. Although, Chelsea righted the ship to some extent with a 3-0 victory over Bolton at the weekend, the crucial date for them is the return leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Napoli in two weeks time. Down 3-1 from the first leg in Naples, Chelsea face a huge task to overturn their deficit and progress to the last eight.