Ancelotti - Football is our only focus

23 February 2010 09:18

Carlo Ancelotti insists that events outside of Chelsea's dressing room will have little effect on their preparation for Wednesday night's Champions League clash with Inter Milan at the San Siro.

Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole is to separate from his wife Cheryl following a string of allegations about affairs with other women. Their split was announced on the eve of Chelsea's last-16 tie against their former manager Jose Mourinho. But Ancelotti, keen to play down a war of words with his Inter counterpart, insisted his squad would not be distracted by any off-the-field issues.

"I think we are focused on this important game. We will not change our motivation for this game, whatever happens outside our dressing roomm" said Ancelotti.

Ancelotti's uneasy relationship with Mourinho stems from their time in Italy.

The pair endured a difficult time in Milan but Ancelotti, despite Mourinho's best efforts in recent days, was determined not to fall foul of his mind games.

"I will respect Inter Milan like I always have in the past," Ancelotti added. "We respect them, but to beat them we need to play at 100%.

"But if they want to beat us they will also have to play at 100%."

Mourinho has found himself unpopular among other Serie A coaches and Italian football's authorities because of his outspoken behaviour and Ancelotti had allegedly claimed that every neutral in Italy will be hoping his Chelsea side can beat Mourinho's Inter.

But Ancelotti added: "I never said this. I respect Inter Milan fully. I understand how much Inter want to win this cup but we also want to win it.

"To be honest I am not interested in Inter Milan and their dressing room. I think Wednesday's game will be very even with two strong teams and it will be a great battle."

Source: PA