'Ignore' Fergie's mind games
London - Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti has advised his players to ignore Alex Ferguson's mind games ahead of their Premier League clash with Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday night.
United could only manage a dour 0-0 draw with Blackburn at the weekend, leading Ferguson to admit the title may be slipping away from his charges. But the canny old Scot was up to his usual tricks on Monday, suggesting that Chelsea would "have an easy game" against Bolton.
But Ancelotti has stated his players will not let Ferguson destabilise their march towards league glory by lulling them into a false sense of security.
"At this moment of our season, nobody can make us lose our concentration or determination to win the title," the Blues' Italian gaffer said. "There is no possibility that my players will lose their concentration. We have worked all season to be in this situation. Now we're in a good position and not because we were lucky but because we worked very hard every day, all season. We were top of the league for a long time. We lost that position two weeks ago but we're back there now and we want to stay there for the rest of the season."
"On paper, maybe Bolton Wanderers have less quality than us. But they have a possibility to play a game with high intensity because they didn't play at the weekend and we played a tough game on Saturday [in the FA Cup]. They will arrive fresh. I don't think my players believe we have an easy game to play against Bolton. I would like them to think it's a very, very important game. Maybe the most important game of our season."
"If we win we improve our position at the top of the table and go four points clear of Manchester United. This could be a very important step for us towards winning the title. My players have to be focused on this."
It appears as if Ferguson's meddling will not deflect Ancelotti from his task, and after Chelsea's match on Tuesday night the United boss may have to truthfully admit the jig is up.