Carlo would love to boss Gerrard
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti admits he would love to manage Steven Gerrard in the future as he prepares to face Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday. Gerrard smashed a hat-trick against Napoli in the Europa Cup on Thursday night and was also the catalyst for Liverpool's sensational comeback against Ancelotti's AC Milan side in the final of the 2005 Champions League. Liverpool fought back from 3-0 down to win on penalties in 2005 but the Italian coach earned Champions League revenge two years later when he triumphed 2-1 in the final against the Reds in Athens. Liverpool, following a poor start under new manager Roy Hodgson, are in the midst of a mini-revival having won their last three games. Gerrard's introduction as a half-time substitute fired Liverpool to victory over Napoli and the club are now reaping the rewards of being under new American ownership. Ancelotti insists that their victory over Liverpool at Anfield towards the end of last season was key to their League and FA Cup double and he remains full of admiration for Gerrard. When asked if he would ever like to manage the England midfielder, Ancelotti replied: "Yes, obviously he's one of the best players in the world and I'd like to manage him one time in the future. In the future, eh?" The Blues tried to sign Gerrard under Jose Mourinho's tenure but it is unlikely Ancelotti will get the chance to do it at Chelsea. However, the Italian may yet be a candidate to replace current England boss Fabio Capello in 2012. But for now he is focused solely on getting three points at Anfield and maintaining their healthy lead at the top of the table. "To win there we have to do our best," added Ancelotti. "It's not enough to play at 90%. We have to play 100% to win there because now Gerrard is in fantastic condition. "The victory against Napoli was important in improving their confidence, so we have to be ready to fight and stay focused for the whole game. "Our game against Liverpool at Anfield was the most important game of last season. It was the key to winning the title but we have to play against a different team on Sunday. "They've changed the manager and have had some problems since the beginning of the season. But they've moved on and won the last three games. "We have to think they're one of the best teams in England. There will be a fantastic atmosphere and they will have the support of their fans. "I think Liverpool's bad start is over. But it's good for us to think they've moved on from the bad moment." Liverpool have not won the league for two decades and their lack of success has surprised Ancelotti. "I'm surprised," he admitted. "A side able to win the Champions League should be able to win the Premier League. That surprises me. "Some clubs, like Milan, have more confidence playing in the Champions League with their history than in the Premier League. "It's difficult explaining, but it's true. Milan were more comfortable in the Champions League. Liverpool have that history and tradition as well, and it's the same." Ancelotti remains without the services of England midfielder Frank Lampard for the trip to Merseyside and Ghana international Michael Essien is doubtful with a toe problem. But France winger Florent Malouda has recovered from his twisted ankle and is fit to play. Lampard last played in the 2-0 win over Stoke at the end of August. He had hernia surgery initially but has since been plagued by a hamstring problem since then. "Lampard is not available for this game," said Ancelotti. "We have to take our time again. "We tried to do everything to get him in the best condition without more injury and now we can say he doesn't need any more surgery. "He had a problem with the tendon on his hamstring, it was not a problem with the surgery. "We didn't want to take a risk. He's done plenty alone, so the next step is training with his team-mates, which he'll start at the beginning of next week. I hope he'll be ready for Sunderland. "We have a little problem with Essien's toe and we're not sure he'll be fit. I'm hopeful he can play."
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