English Premiership

Chelsea stars under pressure

2010-03-20 07:08
Under pressure

Blackburn - Chelsea's Champions League exit at the hands of Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan on Tuesday inevitably led to questions being asked about the future of Carlo Ancelotti and his well-paid players.

Owner Roman Abramovich helped fuel such speculation by making a rare visit to the club's Surrey training ground to address the Italian and an expensively-assembled squad many critics - former Chelsea manager Ruud Gullit included - insist requires a comprehensive overhaul in the summer.

But Ancelotti was adamant that the importance of Sunday's trip to Blackburn Rovers was the only item on the agenda as the Blues attempt to get the better of Manchester United and Arsenal in a three-way fight for the Premier League title.

"Roman spoke with me and with the players," Ancelotti said. "He came to support us because he knows football and he knows that we are involved in important competitions again. So I think his presence was very good.

"We didn't speak about the future, about the changes for next season, because it's not the right time to speak about this. I said we have important games in the next week and we have to stay focused: all the players and all the club."

Did that mean, therefore, that the Russian was prepared to write off the Inter reverse? Ancelotti was certainly hoping so.

"He was disappointed and he is the owner of a club that is out of the Champions League," he said. "Everyone was disappointed about the last game."

With United's clash with Liverpool likely to be as competitive as usual, Chelsea's coach believes a good result at Ewood Park could be very significant.

"We have a very important trophy again to pursue," said Ancelotti, who may be able to welcome back goalkeeper Petr Cech following three weeks out with a calf injury.

"We are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and, maybe, two points behind Manchester United but with a game in hand.

"So our destiny is in our own hands. If we win every game, we can do the double. That's very difficult, but we can try to do this. That's very important, to think about this. Only five teams, I think, have won a double in 140 years in England. It's not easy, but we can think about this and do our best. That's our aim."

Blackburn defender Michel Salgado was also thinking about the future, with the 34-year-old former Real Madrid man confident Sam Allardyce's squad could improve enough to qualify for Europe in two seasons' time.

"We are heading the right way," he said. "If we work hard, why not Europe after next season? We have tough games ahead and the most important thing is to get safe first. Two more wins probably, then we will have the confidence to get more and more.

"That can help the future. Maybe not this season for Europe because it is far away but for the next season if we play with the same squad and maybe improve."

Rovers no longer possess the financial muscle they enjoyed in the 1990s when Jack Walker bank-rolled their Premier League title success in 1995 and Salgado admitted some of his team-mates could soon be tempted to bigger clubs.

"You have six teams who are two steps ahead of us with regards money," he said.

"We have many very good young players who are growing up and need the advice of the old players. We have three or four ready to play in big teams."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Sport Talk

 

Five wrapping hacks you have to know before Christmas

Five gift wrapping hacks that will save Christmas for you!

 
 

I love summer.24

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014
Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Fixtures
22 December 2014
Stoke City v Chelsea, Britannia Stadium 22:00
26 December 2014
Chelsea v West Ham United, Stamford Bridge 14:45
Everton v Stoke City, Goodison Park 17:00
Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur, King Power Stadium 17:00
Swansea City v Aston Villa, Liberty Stadium 17:00
Manchester United v Newcastle United, Old Trafford 17:00
Crystal Palace v Southampton, Selhurst Park 17:00
Sunderland v Hull City, Stadium of Light 17:00
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City, The Hawthorns 17:00
Burnley v Liverpool, Turf Moor 17:00
Arsenal v Queens Park Rangers, Emirates Stadium 19:30
28 December 2014
Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United, White Hart Lane 14:00
Southampton v Chelsea, St. Mary's Stadium 16:05
West Ham United v Arsenal, Boleyn Ground 17:00
Stoke City v West Bromwich Albion, Britannia Stadium 17:00
Manchester City v Burnley, Etihad Stadium 17:00
Queens Park Rangers v Crystal Palace, Loftus Road Stadium 17:00
Hull City v Leicester City, The KC Stadium 17:00
Aston Villa v Sunderland, Villa Park 17:00
Newcastle United v Everton, St. James' Park 18:15
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

How long will Mario Balotelli last at Liverpool?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.