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Carlo's keen to conquer England

11 Apr 2010 23:15:00

Carlo's keen to conquer England

Carlo Ancelotti has admitted he would not be happy to walk away from his first season in English football with just the FA Cup on his CV. Ancelotti knows Chelsea's season will close with an FA Cup final appearance at Wembley on May 15. He can also be reasonably secure the same fate as the one that befell the three men who guided the Blues to season-ending showpieces in the previous three campaigns will not befall him either. Avram Grant and Guus Hiddink, admittedly of his own accord, were gone within days, whilst Jose Mourinho's tempestuous tenure was brought to a dramatic conclusion before he even had a chance to think about who Chelsea would play at the start of their defence of the FA Cup that had been won in the spring of 2007. However, Ancelotti intends to keep driving on. His mantra continues to be "one game at a time". But when pushed, as he peers down from the top of the Premier League, he conceded the FA Cup in itself would be poor consolation for missing out on the main prize. "We are top of the table, so I can say no, I wouldn't be satisfied," said Ancelotti. "I want to win the Premier League." It is only three weeks since Chelsea's season was in tatters. Dumped out of Europe by Inter Milan and held to a costly draw by Blackburn at Ewood Park, garnering any kind of silverware this season appeared to be a hopeless task. A clinical five-goal destruction of Portsmouth at Fratton Park changed the course of their campaign, which now leaves Ancelotti on the brink of a famous achievement. Less than 12 months after replacing Hiddink, with no prior knowledge of the English game apart from the experiences he had in a lifetime's devotion to AC Milan as a player and coach, Ancelotti is six wins away from making Chelsea only the seventh club to achieve the domestic league and FA Cup double. Serial silverware gatherer Sir Alex Ferguson always stresses how hard it is to win trophies. Easy is not the word Ancelotti uses. But apparently not as difficult as where he has come from. "It is not harder to win trophies here compared to Italy," he said. "You have a lot of the same things. "Maybe it is easier here because there is less pressure on the players. Their life is quieter. "With less pressure you can recover better." Save for finding himself in the middle of another controversy, skipper John Terry should be fit for Tuesday's encounter with Bolton at Stamford Bridge. Central defensive partner Alex does have a minor ankle problem, although the Brazilian is expected to recover in time to face Owen Coyle's side, who do not look capable of halting the Chelsea bandwagon. There are a couple of significant tests; next Saturday's trip to Tottenham and the visit to Liverpool in the first weekend of May. However, having finally settled on a formation that suits his team, even if it comes at the expense of either Didier Drogba or Nicolas Anelka, Ancelotti's natural optimism can spread throughout the dressing room. "We have had a lot of problems but we have never lost our confidence or optimism," he said. "I have a very good squad and I have some very good players. "We lost some to the African Nations Cup in January but the players who came in did very well. "Until now, the team has done a good job. It could be a fantastic season for us. "But we have won nothing yet."


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