CHELSEA v/s MSK ZILINA
CHELSEA manager Carlo Ancelotti admits he has grown unhappy at Stamford Bridge – but only because his team have forgotten how to sweep all before them.
Categorically denying intense speculation that he was considering quitting just six months after leading the Blues to the double, Ancelotti blamed the rumours on his side’s slump in form. He also rubbished claims he had contacted the League Managers’ Association (LMA) for advice on his position, and insisted the firing of former assistant Ray Wilkins had not affected results.
“This rumour is totally untrue. I don’t know why this rumour came out today in the papers. I didn’t speak to the LMA – the LMA just called me to understand what’s happening,” said the Italian, who was on jocular form. “I have a contract until 2012 at this club. I said a lot of times that I’d like to stay here – I love not just this club but also these players – so there is no reason to change my idea.
“I don’t know if it is enough to speak about this because when the team don’t reach the right result obviously the coach is under pressure.
“There is no reason to think about my position. My position in the club is very clear. I am a coach, I have to train my players, to maintain the team and the club at the best level.
“Now, this moment is not good on the pitch and they have to do better there. I think they have to stay focused on this because this is the problem.”
LMA chief executive Richard Bevan confirmed to City A.M. they had contacted Ancelotti on Sunday night after hearing rumours he had resigned. Bevan added that this was normal protocol.
Ancelotti rejected suggestions he and his team had been affected by the departure of his former No2 Ray Wilkins, who has accused the club of unfair dismissal.
“I am sad because the team doesn’t win,” he added. “Nothing has changed in my personal behaviour with Ray. The club decided to change and I have to stay focused on my job with another assistant. This is not a problem for me and this is not the reason the team is losing games in this moment.”
Ancelotti revealed young English midfielder Josh McEachran, 17, will make his first start for Chelsea in tonight’s Champions League fixture.