Chelsea captain John Terry has admitted Andre Villas-Boas was let down by his players at Stamford Bridge this season.
Villas-Boas paid the price for a brief and difficult period at the helm of the West London club, with the Blues 20 points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester City.
With Chelsea in danger of being dumped out of the UEFA Champions League following a 3-1 defeat to Napoli in the first leg of their last 16 clash and battling just to qualify for next season's competition, owner Roman Abramovich decided to take action.
The club went five matches without a win in skipper Terry's absence due to a knee injury before beating Bolton a week and a half ago, but defeat at West Brom on Saturday meant the end for Villas-Boas after just eight months at the helm.
Player power was said to have been one of the factors in the Portuguese's downfall and Terry admitted Chelsea's squad needed to look in the mirror.
Head on the block
He told Chelsea TV: "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'.
"He's the man whose head's on the block and unfortunately goes."
Terry dedicated Tuesday night's FA Cup win over Birmingham, when he made a shock return to the bench, not only to caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo and assistant Eddie Newton, but also to Villas-Boas.
He said: "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."
Terry added: "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."
Who should be the next Chelsea manager?
Roberto Di Matteo