Belfast Telegraph

Ancelotti vows to end Chelsea slump

Carlo Ancelotti vowed he was strong enough to lead Chelsea out of their slump after watching Marseille end their 100% record in this season's Champions League group phase.

Chelsea have now won just two games out of the last eight in all competitions and Ancelotti's mood appeared dark and resigned as he struggled to explain his side's latest lacklustre showing.

The Italian had called for a return to the free-flowing football of earlier this season but his words appear to have fallen on deaf ears.

Chelsea had little passion and desire against Marseille and Brandao's 81st-minute goal piled on the agony for Ancelotti who, despite his dejected body language, maintained he has the strength for the battle ahead.

"I think we have a lot of players with fantastic character and personality," he said.

"We have to come back and show this. I'm not low. I'm strong. I want to resolve this problem quickly. I'm focused on my job. This is normal. I think my players have that same focus. I'm sure of this.

"I'm worried just because we're not doing our best. This is the problem. We have to do better. I would like the team to move on quickly from this moment.

"It's not a good moment. The bad moment continues, but we have to keep going. We've lost some confidence in our play. Now we have to come back and keep going. We were unlucky sometimes.

"The performance was not so bad. Defensively I thought we did well. We could do better up front. We had a lot of opportunities in the first half to launch counter-attacks, but we didn't play the final pass clearly enough.

"It was a good opportunity to move on out of this period. We lost this opportunity because we didn't win and we didn't play so well.

"But we have to keep going and look forward. We have a great opportunity against Tottenham, a difficult game away against a top team."

Ancelotti was given more bad news when it transpired that right-back Jose Bosingwa, only just back after a lengthy absence with a knee injury, is out of Sunday's game against Spurs with a hamstring problem.

He is also pinning his hopes on a return to action by England midfielder Frank Lampard.

"Bosingwa has a hamstring problem, so he's not available for the next game. Frank trained today and had a good session," said Ancelotti.

"We'll take a decision in the next two days. He'll train with us."

Marseille coach Didier Deschamps was delighted to have beaten Chelsea even though there was nothing but pride to play for.

"I am very happy for Brandao and for my team as well," said Deschamps.

"I wanted my players to win. It was good for the fans to beat Chelsea although it does not mean anything, it was nice to beat them. When you play such games without pressure, you still want to get the result because of the opposing team.

"A team like Chelsea is programmed to win the Champions League, we are not but we want to go as far as we can. Maybe we will have a little bit of luck in the draw. Whoever we get it will be a difficult game.

"Chelsea are not having a successful spell at the moment. Maybe it was a good time to play them tonight. In February they will be a totally different team."

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph