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Monday, November 22, 2010
Chelsea reject Ancelotti reports

ESPNsoccernet staff

Chelsea have dismissed rumours of Carlo Ancelotti quitting the club as "absolute nonsense" after it was claimed that the Italian manager tendered his resignation and saw it rejected by the board.

• Ancelotti won't panic after losses
• Wilkins seeking legal advice
• Forum: Will Ancelotti quit?

Ancelotti has kept quiet over the sacking of assistant manager Ray Wilkins in recent days, with Wilkins seeking legal advice over what he called an ''undoubtedly unfair dismissal''. However, it was suggested that the Italian was far from happy over the way that the issue was handled and wanted to quit the club he only joined just over a year ago.

Chelsea have moved to deny the rumours and, although an official statement was not released, a club source was quoted as saying that the speculation was ''absolute nonsense''.

Opposition scout Michael Emenalo was promoted to Wilkins' job by owner Roman Abramovich last week and, while he insisted that ''nothing has changed'' on Saturday, Ancelotti has revealed his displeasure at the current situation.

Ancelotti said: "You have to compare me with (Sir Alex) Ferguson, it's a different position. Because Ferguson has total control of the team. I am just technical direction. Full stop."

Chelsea won a league and cup double under Ancelotti in his first season, but they have struggled to recapture that form so far this term. Having lost just four games last season, the Blues have already lost four matches this campaign - including three of the last four - and lost two Premier League games in succession for the first time in over four years when they fell 1-0 to Birmingham this weekend.

Rumours of Ancelotti's departure and a series of bets placed have seen his odds to leave the club drastically reduced.

Meanwhile, Ancelotti said he expects to receive criticism over the team's recent form slump because that is the life of the manager, while also rejecting the notion the Wilikins situation is to blame for the team's negative turnaround.

"Obviously (criticism) can happen when the team don't win," Ancelotti said. "There is more responsibility on the coach but this is normal. This is my job. If the team is not doing a good job, it is normal to have more responsibility. I don't have a problem.

"Am I prepared for criticism? Yes, I am prepared. This is the life of the coach. This is a difficult moment but I think we are capable of moving on. It is true we didn't play well last weekend against Sunderland but we played very well against Birmingham. Everyone who saw the game can say this.

"It is important to have a difficult moment and stay top of the table. We know very well that we have lost three games in four and this is not good for Chelsea. For this reason, I have to take my responsibility. But I am not worried about the team because I think we are again able to play good football and so we have to move and look forward to the next game against Newcastle.

"How much of a concern is the defence? At Birmingham, we conceded from the one opportunity they created. We had 10-12 opportunities to score ourselves. Obviously we have to stay more concentrated if you concede one opportunity and the opponents score from it. There we have to have more concentration.

"This (the Wilkins situation) is not the reason why we lost the game(s). We lost the games because in four games, we scored just one goal. We have to improve there, to stay more in focus, we have to continue to play like we did against Birmingham.''

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