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Ancelotti: we have to stay focussed

As the private life of captain John Terry continues to make headlines on both the front and back pages, Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has warned his team not to lose focus when they look to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League with victory at Hull tonight.

Terry, 29, has been in the media spotlight following revelations involving an alleged affair with the ex-girlfriend of Wayne Bridge, the England and former Blues defender who is now at Manchester City.

More details could yet emerge over the following days as Vanessa Perroncel, who is being represented by publicist Max Clifford, considers whether to tell her side of the story.

England skipper Terry has, though, already been given the full backing of Ancelotti and the club, who consider the matter a personal one.

Nevertheless, British Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe wants talks with the Football Association over the suitability of Terry as captain of the national team.

England manager Fabio Capello is currently in Switzerland recovering from a knee operation, but is scheduled to return later this week.

The FA confirmed yesterday it will be the Italian alone who will decide on Terry's future as England captain.

Capello is set to attend the Euro 2012 draw in Warsaw on Sunday, which will represent the first public opportunity for him to be pressed on the situation.


England play African Nations Cup winners Egypt at Wembley on March 3, by which time it is expected Capello will have made his decision as he looks to maintain a united dressing room ahead of the World Cup.

Terry's ability on the pitch has, though, never been called into question.

The Blues skipper showed no signs of letting the saga impact on his game as he headed in the winning goal against Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday, even if his celebration was visibly subdued.

Chelsea head to the KC Stadium for tonight's rearranged fixture seeking to extend their lead over Manchester United back up to four points after the champions beat third-placed Arsenal, who travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Ancelotti knows anything other than 100pc concentration against the relegation-battling Tigers could prove fatal.

"We have to stay focused against Hull because if we are not, we can have a problem," the Chelsea boss said.

"We have time after to think about the next game against Arsenal."

Ancelotti added: "Every game is difficult here, around the game there is a very good atmosphere and when you play away it is more difficult to win.

"Hull are very able on the long ball, on the head, and we have to pay attention to set-pieces, but we want to do our game."

Left-back Ashley Cole will have a fitness test on the ankle injury sustained against Burnley, while Ivory Coast striker Didier Drogba is set for a first start since his return from the African Nations Cup.