Belfast Telegraph

Chelsea boss Ancelotti not distracted by Mourinho factor

Carlo Ancelotti insists that events outside of Chelsea's dressing room will have little effect on their preparation for tonight's Champions League clash with Inter Milan at the San Siro.

Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole is to separate from his wife Cheryl following a string of allegations about affairs with other women.

Their split was announced on the eve of Chelsea's last-16 tie against their former manager Jose Mourinho.

Ancelotti, keen to play down a war of words with his Inter counterpart, saying his squad will not be distracted by off-field issues.

“We are focused today on this important game,” said Ancelotti.

“We will not change our motivation for this game, whatever happens outside.”

Ancelotti's uneasy relationship with Mourinho stems from their time in Italy.

The pair endured a difficult time in Milan, but Ancelotti, despite Mourinho's best efforts in recent days, was determined not to fall foul of his mind games.

“I will respect Inter Milan like I always have in the past. We respect them, but to beat them we need to play at 100%,” said Ancelotti.

“If they want to beat us they will also have to play at 100%.”

Mourinho has found himself unpopular among other Serie A coaches and Italian football's authorities because of his outspoken

behaviour and Ancelotti had allegedly claimed that every neutral in Italy will be hoping his Chelsea side can beat Mourinho's Inter.

Ancelotti added: “I never said this. I respect Inter Milan. I understand how much Inter want to win this cup, but we also want to win it.

“I am not interested in Inter Milan and their dressing room.”

Ancelotti will rely heavily on Didier Drogba to get a vital away goal and the Italian remains full of praise for the Ivory Coast striker.

Drogba took his tally to 25 for the season in all competitions with a brace in the 2-0 Premier league win over Wolves on Saturday, but Ancelotti knows that he will have to rely on more than just one man to beat Inter.

“Didier is a very important player for us and has scored 25 goals this season,” he said.

“He is in a good moment, but we cannot focus on one individual to win the game. We need to play well as a team.”

Mourinho, who won every domestic trophy during his time at Stamford Bridge, had earlier boasted that Chelsea's side would hold no surprises for him.

And for once former AC Milan boss Ancelotti agreed with his old sparring partner.

“In football there are no surprises any more because we can watch every game on television,” said Ancelotti.

“It is not like it was 20 years ago.”

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