Ancelotti at ease with mini-protest

07 January 2011 06:30

Carlo Ancelotti on Friday played down a fan protest calling for him to be sacked as Chelsea manager, insisting such demonstrations were much worse in Italy.

Ancelotti and his players arrived at their Cobham base Friday morning to find a pair of banners draped opposite the entrance which read: "Ancelotti + Abramovich out!!!" and "None of you are fit to wear the shirt".

"Here, you saw outside just one person who is not happy, In Italy, it's different. You can find outside the training ground 1,000 people not happy," said Ancelotti.

"It's difficult to fight with 1,000. With one, you can manage."

Of course, any disquiet is likely to grow the longer Chelsea's current crisis continues.

But for the moment, Ancelotti appears to have the bulk of the fans on side, including the most important of them all, owner Roman Abramovich. The billionaire Russian is continuing to back his manager, despite the Italian overseeing by far the poorest run of results since he bought the club.

Wednesday night's shock 1-0 defeat at then rock-bottom Wolves made it one win in nine league games, leaving Chelsea marooned in fifth place.

"For a manager, it is important at this moment to have the support of the club, of the players, and obviously of the fans - minus one," said Ancelotti, referring again to the solitary protest.

"It is the right way to move on quickly. The problem now here is not the relationship with the club, or with the owner, or with the players.

"The problem is the team is not doing well. We've stayed a long time in a difficult moment, we've lost confidence. We spoke with the staff to try to find the solution. The solution is on the pitch - it is not outside the pitch."

Source: PA