Ancelotti laughs off Scolari comparison

CARLO ANCELOTTI has laughed off Frank Lampard’s claim the current atmosphere at Chelsea was like the final days under Luiz Felipe Scolari and revealed he had spoken to Roman Abramovich about the club’s miserable run.

Lampard compared the confidence of the squad at present to that during the end of Scolari’s doomed reign just under two years ago.

The Blues are on an even poorer run than they were at that time — indeed, their worst in the league for almost 15 years — and have all but surrendered their title.

Despite this, Ancelotti continues to enjoy the backing of the club’s billionaire benefactor, who he spoke to over the telephone this week and who may attend today’s game against Blackburn if reports are to be believed.

Ancelotti admitted Abramovich was “not happy” with recent results but described their exchange as “positive”, giving him confidence to shrug off Lampard’s comments.

He joked, when asked about his vice-captain’s concerns: “This is not good news!

“I think the players, the team, lost some confidence in their football, the football that we played very well last year.

“But I think we are able to come back and play the same.”

Ancelotti, whose side have slumped to fifth in the Barclays Premier League, added: “I don’t know the feeling with Scolari, but the feeling here with the players is very good.

“Maybe it’s the same atmosphere, but we have the capacity to move on.

“We are very close. I support the players at this moment, and the players support me.

“I think it’s not a big problem if the players are not happy, no?

“I think the only reason they are not happy sometimes is that we didn’t get the right results. This is the only reason.”

Ancelotti insisted the mood at Stamford Bridge had improved in the wake of Sunday’s FA Cup third-round win over Ipswich, saying: “The week was good, and I hope we can show this also not just on the training ground but on the pitch against Blackburn.”

The club, as always, are refusing to comment on Abramovich’s movements but there would be no better time to improve their record of one win in nine league games than in front of the owner.

With virtually half the transfer window having passed, Ancelotti has yet to reinforce his squad but continues to insist there is money available.

Chelsea have been linked with a host of players in recent days, including defenders David Luiz and Diego Godin, while outgoing sporting director Frank Arnesen revealed Ajax and Holland full-back Gregory van der Wiel was a target for next season.

Ancelotti was tight-lipped over a move the club are understood to have made for Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar but which has broken down.

“There are a lot of rumours, a lot of speculation and names,” he said.

“Maybe sometimes some agents are using the names to earn more money.

“Pienaar is a good player and we know him very well, but this doesn’t mean we need to have him play here.

“We are thinking about central defence.

“If we find the right player for us, we have the possibility to buy.”

Today’s opponents have already made a move in the transfer market, completing the loan signing today of Roque Santa Cruz from Manchester City, who could make his second Blackburn debut at Stamford Bridge.

The Paraguayan admitted his frustration at a lack of action at Manchester City prompted the move.

He said: “I felt a bit ignored by the manager (Roberto Mancini) of course. It’s been hard not to play, not to be chosen, even though I feel great.

“It’s frustrating, I’ve been playing a lot through the years with small injuries and just when I feel perfect to play and perform I wasn’t selected.

“Through the media I kind of expected Blackburn to know I would decide to leave City and go somewhere I can play and be more appreciated, so when they showed their interest for me it was very easy to decide.

On a permanent return to Ewood Park, he told BBC Radio Lancashire: “Maybe we can do something permanently. Blackburn’s always been home to me they’ve treated me very well.”

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