Monday 26 February 2018

Pressure focuses Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti has held a meeting with his first-team squad to discuss Chelsea's slump in form and admits that he is "under pressure", writes JASON BURT.

However, that pressure is something the Chelsea coach maintains has come from the standards he sets himself, and not from club owner Roman Abramovich. The Russian told him he was "happy", even after last weekend's defeat to Birmingham City. "When the team plays good football, Roman is happy," he said.

Ancelotti's future at Chelsea has come under scrutiny in the past week, following the sudden sacking of assistant Ray Wilkins earlier this month. But despite his unhappiness over that decision, the Italian knows that a poor set of results -- three defeats in the past four Premier League matches -- takes precedence.

He has also been at pains to state that the upheaval following Wilkins' departure and the poor results are unrelated, blaming under-performance, injuries and suspensions to key players.

Chelsea will go into tomorrow's Premier League match at Newcastle without John Terry, Frank Lampard, Michael Essien, Yuri Zhirkov and Yossi Benayoun and with Alex due to have knee surgery next week.

"I am under pressure," Ancelotti said. "This is normal, to be under pressure. You have to look at the results. The results are not good and I have to take my responsibility and stay more in focus on my job. I have to use all my experience to give more opportunities to the players to do better. To be under pressure doesn't mean I'm not safe. It's normal to be under pressure. It doesn't mean that my bench 'might move'. Under pressure, I have more concentration." (© Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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