LONDON - Chelsea captain John Terry has admitted that his team-mates must accept a share of the blame for the departure of manager Andre Villas-Boas after less than a year in charge.
The Portuguese coach became the latest Chelsea manager to be shown the door by owner Roman Abramovich after a sequence of poor results which has left the club outside the top four and struggling to stay in the Champions League.
Villas-Boas's exit came amid widespread reports of dressing room unrest, with senior Chelsea players openly questioning the manager's tactics and team selections.
However Terry admitted that the poor performances of Chelsea's players were as much to blame as anything else.
"Sad for Andre, because unfortunately it falls on his head, when I think the players would hold their hands up and say, 'Clearly, we've not been good enough and we all made mistakes together'," Terry told Chelsea TV.
"He's the man whose head's on the block and unfortunately goes."
Terry, who made a surprise recovery from a knee injury to earn a place on the bench for Tuesday's FA Cup replay win over Birmingham, said the 2-0 victory was dedicated to caretaker Roberto Di Matteo, assistant Eddie Newton and Villas-Boas.
"We dug deep for him, for Robbie as well taking charge, Eddie coming in as well - it's nice to have familiar faces around who know the club," he said.
"We've done enough talking amongst ourselves over the last three or four months. Robbie came in and said those exact same things as well.
"He's been here, played here, the same as Eddie.
"We have to fight for the shirt and that was the message to the lads."