Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Ancelotti expects different game from Chelsea

Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti was pleased with the performance of his fringe stars as they reached the Carling Cup quarter-finals with an easy 4-0 win over Bolton.

The Blues have turned Stamford Bridge into a fortress with 13 goals rattled in during the last three games.

They have not conceded at home since the opening day of the season and goals from Salomon Kalou, Florent Malouda, Deco and Didier Drogba ended Bolton's interest in the competition.

But he knows it will be a different contest when the two sides meet again at the Reebok Stadium on Saturday.

"I think this is a very good moment for us," said Ancelotti. "Above all, because the players who returned after injury came back very well. Joe Cole came back in the last match and did very well.

"Alex and Paulo Ferreira did a very intelligent match tonight. It's a very good moment. We have to continue and maintain this atmosphere.

"The first thing is to play well and to win a game. It happens we've won with large results, but that's not so important. Rather, we want to win the games. We played the last three games very well, and Saturday can be another kind of match. We have to be ready to play a different match.

"The team are working very well. The defence has balance on the pitch during 90 minutes, maintaining good control defensively and offensively. This is the most important thing for the team, to have a balance."

Chelsea are awaiting a scan on goalkeeper Hilario's head after he was forced out of the action with concussion in the first half.

Ancelotti also voiced his support for striker Daniel Sturridge who squandered two gilt-edged chances to score on his full home debut.

"We are awaiting a scan on Hilario," said Ancelotti. "We're hoping he'll be better in the next few days.

"As for Sturridge, I'm disappointed for him. I think he played 60 minutes well for the team. I asked him to play for the team, not just to score. He did what I asked of him.

"For me, it's not important that he didn't score. The others - Malouda, Kalou - did. For him it would have been better to score, but I'm happy with his work out on the pitch."

Bolton manager Gary Megson admitted his team did not perform but promised Chelsea would face a more difficult encounter when the two teams meet again in the Barclays Premier League at the weekend.

"We didn't play as you need to play against the quality they have," said Megson.

"If you don't play at a tempo that might upset Chelsea, or go into challenges that might upset them, then you're not going to damage them.

"It was a poor performance from minute one. We needed to score the first goal, but we were never going to do that with the way we approached it.

"When you can put a £28million sub on - that's as much as we've spent in two years. We can't compete with that on equal terms. Chelsea are stronger than other teams in terms of physical strength, they're quicker, and all the teams that are in the quarter-finals are probably in the top eight of the Premier League.

"I'm pleased to be playing them again on Saturday. We need to put on a performance. That was a bit of a stroll. Our team will be different, not just in personnel but in approach, and I hope we're a lot more wholehearted than it was tonight."

Bolton missed the physical presence of striker Kevin Davies in attack but Megson said he would be back in the starting line-up for the visit of Chelsea to the Reebok.

"Davo gets battered from pillar to post every time he plays. He had three stitches above his right eye against United, and two above his left eye against Everton.

"We just felt it would be unfair to chuck him in as we did against Everton, and then ask him to do the same on Saturday. He needed a breather.

"But we missed a lot of things tonight. We weren't physically as strong as we need to be. Hopefully it'll be a bit different on Saturday."

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