ANDRE Villas-Boas has admitted he could drop Frank Lampard and Fernando Torres from his Chelsea side.
But the Blues boss Villas-Boas insists it would take far more than the pair losing their international places for him to consider axing them.
Lampard was dropped for a competitive England match for the first time in four years last week and Torres’ career hit a new low this week when he did not even make the bench for Spain’s thrashing of Liechtenstein.
Villas-Boas is behind £50million man Torres, who has now scored just once in 27 games. But the Portuguese insisted he was not guilty of blind faith and he knew at what point he would need to get tough.
“The moment when it compromises the running of the team, I think it has to come to an end,” he said.
Lampard was recalled by England for Tuesday’s Wembley win over Wales, although his performance did little to suggest his best days were not behind him.
Villas-Boas said: “Lampard’s an extremely fit player. I think as a player, he feels well. He feels he can compete.”
The Chelsea boss was even more combative when it came to Torres, whose dramatic loss of goalscoring form also coincided with his recovery from injury.
Villas-Boas insisted the striker had lost none of his pace, adding of his goal drought: “You didn’t just lose your talent. It’s a question of confidence.”
Torres will play against Sunderland tomorrow, with Didier Drogba continuing his recovery from a head injury.
Goalkeeper Petr Cech is available against Sunderland, though, after making a quicker-than-expected recovery from his knee injury. Defender David Luiz is also back after a thigh problem.