Belfast Telegraph

Carlo Ancelotti: I am not going to quit Chelsea

Carlo Ancelotti has insisted he has no intention of quitting Chelsea at the end of the season.

The future of under-pressure Blues boss Ancelotti has been the subject of fevered speculation, with reports linking him with a return to Italy with Roma.

But the 51-year-old declared yesterday he would honour his contract, which expires in 2012, and hinted he may stay even longer.

“I'll stay in London at least until 2012,” he said.

Ancelotti also rubbished suggestions of a dressing-room rift at Stamford Bridge in the wake of the club's worst run in the Barclays Premier League for more than a decade.

“There aren't problems in the dressing room, the relationships are good,” he said.

“Everything depends on the results that haven't arrived because of too many misfortunes.”

Ancelotti highlighted injury and suspension to the likes of Frank Lampard, John Terry, Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and Alex as being the key factor behind his first really tough spell since his appointment a year and a half ago.

Last month also saw assistant Ray Wilkins sacked having been Ancelotti's right-hand man during last season's historic double success. The Barclays Premier League champions' form has dipped alarmingly since and they have not won for five matches, dropping from first to fourth.

They missed a stoppage-time penalty to beat Tottenham on Sunday but Ancelotti feels their performance bodes well for this weekend's crunch clash with Manchester United.

“In that game I realised that we are alive and we will start winning soon,” he said.

Ancelotti will be boosted by the return of star midfielder Lampard, who looks set to start on Sunday after coming through a practice match unscathed yesterday.

Lampard scored in what was a 60-minute game at the club's training ground, which pitted two sides from the first-team squad against one another.

The 32-year-old made a surprise comeback after three-and-a-half months on the sidelines at Tottenham, playing the final 12 minutes at White Hart Lane.

Ancelotti revealed after the game that Lampard would start against United providing he suffered no reaction yesterday.

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