SEA manager Carlo Ancelotti has laughed off Sir Alex Ferguson’s suggestion that his team view tonight’s visit of Bolton as a routine win on an inevitable procession to the Premier League title.
The leaders could put one hand on the trophy with a victory tonight that would propel them four points clear of flagging Manchester United with just four games remaining.
Bolton, 15th in the table, are not the most daunting of challengers on paper, leading United manager Ferguson to suggest Chelsea would see them as easy pickings.
But Ancelotti said: “I hope that Alex is correct. Maybe before you can say it will be easy, but I haven’t played an easy game this season.
“No matches are easy, even if you go out and score a lot of goals in the game itself. No, it’s mind games. Ferguson is clever.
“On paper we are favourites against Bolton, but only on paper. It’s normal that Chelsea will win in theory, but we need to go out and achieve this. The title is in our hands.”
Chelsea need 12 points from their last five league fixtures to claim their first title since the Jose Mourinho era.
Victory over Aston Villa in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final has also put them in touching distance of the other major domestic honour.
It all means that bookmakers now make Ancelotti’s men odds-on to achieve the double, but the Italian has banned such talk for the time being.
“Now is not the moment to think if we win the double or not. The most important thing is to stay focused game-by-game. Our minds are focused on the Bolton game. Nothing else.”
Ancelotti, meanwhile, has defended captain John Terry after Villa manager Martin O’Neill labelled his challenge on James Milner “horrendous”. Terry, who was booked, has been in touch with his England colleague but has not apologised.
“It was a yellow card,” said Ancelotti. “I know O'Neill was upset but there’s no news.”
A Chelsea spokesman added: “They texted each other on Sunday night and John was checking to see if he was OK. He didn’t say sorry.”