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Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelott: We must not blow the title now

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08 May 2010 00:08:56

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelott: We must not blow the title now

Attention to detail: Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti Carlo Ancelotti stood on the brink of history and reflected on some of the great teams he has seen decorate the game during his lifetime. Brazil's world champions from 1970 were the first to spring to mind, then the glorious AC Milan team of the late Eighties in which he starred as the holding midfielder in a side including Dutch trio Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard and Ruud Gullit. 'I had the honour to play in a team that not only won but also madehistory,' said Ancelotti, 50, who rates Van Basten as the best heplayed alongside. 'Milan made history in that moment because theychanged the philosophy of Italian football. But there are a lot of goodteams that did not win titles, like Holland in 1974. 'Everyone who loves football thinks about Holland rather than Germany, who actually won the World Cup.' Glorious losers? That doesn't sound like the Chelsea managerpreparing to face Wigan on the final day of the season, when three morepoints will secure the Barclays Premier League title. 'No, no, no, no,' grinned Ancelotti. 'I'd prefer to be Germany.'Few expected the Dutch to lose in 1974, especial ly once Johan Neeskenshad fired them ahead with a penalty, 80 seconds into the final. Butlose they did and debate rages on about how complacency andover-elaboration cost them football's ultimate prize. Chelsea are 14-1 ON to win the Barclays Premier League tomorrow. Beat Wigan at Stamford Bridge and the trophy is theirs for the first time since 2006. Any other outcome will offer Manchester United a chance, but it is hard to envisage. Wigan have not won in London since December 2006. This season, they have leaked 18 goals in four games in the capital, including a 9-1 defeat at Spurs, and goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic has looked distinctly vulnerable since replacing the injured Chris Kirkland. Chelsea, meanwhile, have been rampant at home, scoring 60 times in18 games at the Bridge. Five more and they will become the first teamto score 100 in the top flight since Tottenham in 1962-63; three wouldset a new Premier League record and four a new club record of 99. 'We are not thinking about this,' insisted Ancelotti. 'Remember theDutch. We want to win and be champions, that's all. One more goal thanWigan - we are not interested in other records. I don't want arloAncelotti stood on the brink of history and reflected on some of thegreat teams he has seen decorate the game during his lifetime. Italian masters: Carlo Ancelotti (3rd left, front row) and his Milan team-mates after they had beaten Steaua Bucharest 4-0 in the final of the European Cup Brazil's world champions from 1970 were the first to spring to mind, then the glorious AC Milan team of the late Eighties in which he starred as the holding midfielder in a side including Dutch trio Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard and Ruud Gullit. 'I had the honour to play in a team that not only won but also made history,' said Ancelotti, 50, who rates Van Basten as the best he played alongside. 'Milan made history in that moment because they changed the philosophy of Italian football. But there are a lot of good teams that did not win titles, like Holland in 1974. 'Everyone who loves football thinks about Holland rather than Germany, who actually won the World Cup.' Glorious losers? That doesn't sound like the Chelsea manager preparing to face Wigan on the final day of the season, when three more points will secure the Barclays Premier League title. 'No, no, no, no,' grinned Ancelotti. 'I'd prefer to be Germany.' Few expected the Dutch to lose in 1974, especial ly once Johan Neeskens had fired them ahead with a penalty, 80 seconds into the final. But lose they did and debate rages on about how complacency and over-elaboration cost them football's ultimate prize. Chelsea are 14-1 ON to win the Barclays Premier League tomorrow. Beat Wigan at Stamford Bridge and the trophy is theirs for the first time since 2006. Any other outcome will offer Manchester United a chance, but it is hard to envisage. Wigan have not won in London since December 2006. This season, they have leaked 18 goals in four games in the capital, including a 9-1 defeat at Spurs, and goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic has looked distinctly vulnerable since replacing the injured Chris Kirkland. Chelsea, meanwhile, have been rampant at home, scoring 60 times in 18 games at the Bridge. Five more and they will become the first team to score 100 in the top flight since Tottenham in 1962-63; three would set a new Premier League record and four a new club record of 99. 'We are not thinking about this,' insisted Ancelotti. 'Remember the Dutch. We want to win and be champions, that's all. One more goal than Wigan - we are not interested in other records. I don't want from the shrine of Padre Pio in San Giovanni Rotondo, will be in the pocket of his jacket when he stands on the touchline. But it did not work at the DW Stadium in September when Wigan beat Chelsea 3-1 and the Italian will leave nothing to chance. 'We have to pay attention because nothing is decided,' he added. 'If you do not prepare well, we will not be able to resolve problems if there are any during the game. We have to be ready. Wigan are a good team. I remember that well. 'I will be nervous at the start of the game but I am very calm. Our training sessions have been good, no problems. The players have good motivation, they are happy. 'Everyone wants to win because this club hasn't won the title for some time. We are very close and everyone, I am sure, will do his best. If we can win it will be considered a fantastic season.' Ancelotti has been impressed by the focus of his players during a turbulent campaign when the private lives of John Terry and Ashley Cole came under scrutiny and Terry was stripped of the England captaincy. Only this week, Didier Drogba told a French newspaper: 'There was a big danger of our squad imploding. It was a massive story in England and we went from the sports pages to the news pages. We were no longer just in the realm of football. 'There were lots of questions to be asked and many of our players were asking them. It was a key stage of our season, as it coincided with a spell when we were dropping points and Terry himself was playing less well. But we remained strong, the way we have always done when there has been a storm around the club. 'We tried to put those other matters to one side and focus on football. It was not easy to do but the fact that we have all known one another for years helped.' Ancelotti praised the mental strength of skipper Terry, who could yet end his season of torment by winning the Premier League and FA Cup Double, something no Chelsea captain has done. 'He has a strong character,' said Ancelotti. 'In difficult moments, he never stopped concentrating on his training or play. He made some mistakes but he played with continuity.' Other distractions have been evident, including the return of Jose Mourinho to knock his former team out of the Champions League. It has been quite a first season for Ancelotti and he will cherish the memories more than the shiny medal he could be wearing soon. 'I prefer to keep them in my mind, the trophies, also the defeats,' he said.


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