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Manchester United v Chelsea: I’ll not face the axe even if we go out, says Ancelotti

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti does not believe his job depends on the result of tonight's crunch Champions League clash at Manchester United.

The Italian's position at Stamford Bridge is widely thought to be under threat as his side prepare to run out at Old Trafford trailing 1-0 after the first leg of their quarter-final tie.

The game is certainly pivotal in Chelsea's season with a late push to retain their Barclays Premier League title — they trail leaders United by 11 points — now seemingly unlikely.

Yet the 51-year-old, who guided Chelsea to the domestic double last season, has another year on his contract and does not feel he is being put under extra pressure by owner Roman Abramovich.

When asked last night if his job was in jeopardy, Ancelotti said: “No. My future is already decided, I don't have a problem about this game.

“It's not important to speak with Roman. When I have a contract, everything is okay with him.

“A lot of times I said the pressure, for me, is not bad.

“Pressure keeps me focused and concentrated, and gives my players the possibility to do their best. I'm focused on this.

“I know it will be difficult at Old Trafford, but we have a lot of possibilities to play a fantastic game.”

Ancelotti, who won Europe's elite competition in charge of AC Milan, even claimed that he thrives under such circumstances.

He added: “I think that, a lot of times, I played this kind of game with this pressure.

“But it's not pressure, it's excitement. To be involved in this game is fantastic for my job, for my career. So I'm not afraid, I'm not worried about this.

“I'm happy to have a possibility to be involved in this game, to use my ability and my skill to give to the players the skills to play at their best.”

United will be strong favourites to go through to the last four after Wayne Rooney claimed an away goal in the first leg last week.

Chelsea know they must score but Ancelotti will not be reckless.

He said: “We know we have to win. We know we have 90 minutes, so we have to play well for 90 minutes.

“We are not going to put strong pressure from the beginning.

“We need to have time to play our football and to score.

“We have to play with balance because United on the counter-attack after very dangerous. This is our aim.

“Winning the Champions League is not an obsession for Chelsea, it's a dream.

“At this moment of the competition it is a dream to reach the final. We are currently three games from the final.”

Belfast Telegraph


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