Andre Villas-Boas insists Nicolas Anelka and Alex are not being treated 'like criminals' after the Chelsea duo had transfer requests accepted.
Anelka and Alex are currently training away from the rest of the first-team squad and are not in contention to feature in Tuesday's decisive UEFA Champions League tie at home to Valencia.
Blues boss Villas-Boas says he has the board's support regarding his decision and that the squad have also accepted his stance on the issue.
Villas-Boas is not questioning the professionalism of Anelka and Alex, but he feels the pair will have different mindsets now that they are looking to leave Stamford Bridge.
"Anelka and Alex are not being treated like criminals but the decision was discussed with the board and the players and the group has accepted it," said Villas-Boas.
"It was not a decision which we took lightly. It's hard for the players to be apart from their friends who mean a lot to them.
"Their professionalism and integrity will never be in doubt, but we want the right mindset.
"For players on the transfer list, the reality is that, eventually, the mindset is not the same.
"But we want everyone focused on the future of the club, to build a team to win trophies. The players are fully receptive to what we are trying to do here.
"We have had our ups and downs in terms of results but our performances have more or less been good and that makes the players continue to believe in what we are doing."