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Carlo Ancelotti defiant despite defeat at Birmingham

Ancelotti 'trusts squad' despite Birmingham defeat

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti says there is no reason to lose confidence despite a third league defeat in four matches.

The champions lost 1-0 at Birmingham on Saturday but still head the Premier League table on goal difference.

And although the loss capped a bad week which also saw assistant coach Ray Wilkins sacked, Ancelotti was defiant.

"We were unlucky and have to take confidence from how we played," said the Italian. "The fact that Ray had gone did not affect things."

Chelsea only lead Manchester United on goal difference, but Ancelotti was full of praise for his team's performance at St Andrew's.

He said: "I've already said to the players 'don't lose confidence because you played good football.' The result is frustrating but they deserved to win.

"The team didn't play well against Sunderland and this result is not good, but we didn't deserve to lose.

"We didn't win because we were unlucky and because [Birmingham goalkeeper] Ben Foster played a good game. It is just the result that was disappointing."

Ancelotti added: "It is a strange Premier League this season. There are a lot of opportunities for teams to close the gap at the top. We are losing opportunities but so are other teams.

Proud McLeish praises keeper Foster

"It is a more difficult competition this season because more teams believe in themselves.

"A month ago I said when we were doing well that there would be difficult moments ahead. This is one of them.

"But if we keep playing like that then we will win games."

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish Birmingham boss Alex McLeish was full of praise for Foster who made a series of top-class saves to keep Chelsea at bay.

"I've always said a good keeper is paramount. He can win you championships, earn you points, save you points, or keep your team in the division," McLeish said.

"Ben has been superb for us. He made some great saves today and in other games and has been on top form since he came here."

He said: "We got a bit of luck but I would say that in recent weeks we have deserved to win games which never went our way.

"We have had plenty of bad luck this season so far. Maybe we got a bit of luck today."

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see also
Birmingham 1-0 Chelsea
20 Nov 10 |  Premier League
Wilkins wants answers from Blues
20 Nov 10 |  Chelsea
Premier League photos
20 Nov 10 |  Football


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