Belfast Telegraph

Ancelotti remains focused on Blues

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti insists his father's illness back home in Italy is not preventing him from focusing on his job at Stamford Bridge.

The Italian returns home to see his father at every opportunity but, while he accepts it is sometimes emotionally difficult, he has a first-class support system - both at the club and back home.

"My father is not well," said Ancelotti. "He's an old man. When possible I have to go to Italy. Whenever possible, I fly back to Italy to see him. He has good support from my sister, so we don't have a problem for this reason. It's not difficult to keep my focus."

He added: "I've spent a lot of time here and, when I'm not here, I have good support from my assistant.

"Everyone knows my situation. I don't have a problem managing the team for this reason. It's difficult, emotionally, when it's your father... but this is life. I have to do my best to stay close to him, but this is the life.

"If it's possible I will go back on Monday. But I will not miss the Carling Cup game against Newcastle next week. The flights are very regular from Gatwick to Bologna."

Meanwhile, Ancelotti believes Chelsea are top of the Barclays Premier League on merit even if they have yet to face any of their title rivals so far this season.

The Blues have scored 17 goals in the league this term and conceded just once in victories over West Brom, Wigan, Stoke and West Ham.

They face newly-promoted Blackpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, with fans expecting more of the same.

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