Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Manchester United not scaring me, insists Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti says he will not obsess over the form of Manchester United as he tries to figure out a way of hauling Chelsea back into the Barclays Premier League title race.

The Blues finally stopped the rot that had set in over the previous two months on Wednesday night by grinding out a 1-0 win over Bolton at Stamford Bridge.

Having tossed away a five-point lead to slump to fifth in the table, Chelsea have climbed back up to fourth and to within four points of United, who had been held to a 1-1 draw at Birmingham.

The still-unbeaten leaders have a game in hand over Ancelotti's men, who will need them to drop more points if the championship is to be retained. Ancelotti, who has admitted his side would have been out of the title race had they not won on Wednesday, expects more twists and turns at the top of the table but will not spend an undue amount of time worrying about the fortunes of Chelsea's biggest rivals.

“We don't have to look at United,” he said. “This is a very difficult championship because every game can have a difficulty. It's a Premier League with a lot of balance, so nothing is decided now.”

Wednesday night's win eased the pressure on Ancelotti, who had received the backing of billionaire owner Roman Abramovich following Monday's limp defeat at Arsenal.

Ancelotti is well aware Abramovich's patience is not without limit and admits recent weeks have taken their toll.

“It's a hard period. That's normal,” he said. “It was a very difficult period. We have to keep going now. We have to maintain good focus on our training and on our games.” Rather than sack Ancelotti, Abramovich may now decide to back him in the January transfer window.

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