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Carlo Ancelotti insists Fernando Torres will improve


Torres will improve for Chelsea - Ancelotti

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti believes £50m striker Fernando Torres needs time to adapt before he shows his best form.

Torres was largely anonymous as he made his debut in Sunday's 1-0 defeat by his former club Liverpool and was substituted after 66 minutes.

But Ancelotti insisted the 26-year-old would soon begin to justify his British record transfer fee.

"We have to give Fernando time to adjust to the shape but I think that he will do it quickly," said Ancelotti.

Torres, who became the most expensive player in British football when he moved on 31 January, had to endure constant barracking from sections of the visiting support as he made his Chelsea debut.

"I took him off as, after 66 minutes and a very busy week, it was good for him to come of," added the 51-year-old.


"Fernando has experience, he has confidence and didn't show problems before the game.

"He was enthusiastic to play, excited, and it didn't show a problem."

Ancelotti played Torres in attack alongside Didier Drogba, with fellow forward Nicolas Anelka deployed just behind the front two and Salomon Kalou the player dropped from the side that beat Sunderland 4-2 in midweek.

However, Chelsea rarely threatened a disciplined and organised Liverpool, who won the game courtesy of a fourth goal in five matches from Raul Meireles.

"We played a fantastic game with this shape at Sunderland and wanted to reproduce that but Liverpool were strong defensively, put strong pressure in their half and we were not able to find the solution," added Ancelotti.

"The problem wasn't that Torres played - he did a good job on the pitch.

"We had difficulty finding enough space in front, because Liverpool defended very well and they put three defenders in the middle, and we didn't find the right way to attack them and were too slow playing from the back."

The defeat left reigning Premier League champions Chelsea in fourth place, 10 points behind leaders Manchester United, who lost at Wolves on Saturday.

Dalglish hails 'magnificent' Liverpool

"We are disappointed because we had an opportunity to close the gap but now we are still the same distance," said the Italian.

"Maybe now we have less possibility to close the gap, but we have to try again. We have to try to fight again for the title.

"The Premier League is very difficult in every game, so it could happen that United can lose again."

Liverpool moved up to sixth - their highest position so far this season - and are six points behind Chelsea and fifth-placed Tottenham, who both have a game in hand on the Reds, as they raised hopes about challenging for a Champions League place.

"Liverpool played very well, with fantastic power, play and attitude. Obviously they can come back to fight for fourth place," stated Ancelotti.

Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish insisted that Torres' presence did not act as an extra incentive as his side registered a fourth consecutive league victory, all achieved without a goal being conceded.

"As this football club has always said, the most important people are the people who are at Liverpool Football Club and that is the way it will always be," said Dalglish.

"The players approached it professionally - I don't think [Torres' presence] was any incentive.

"The incentive for us was to get three points and we did. Whatever someone else wants to do with their life is up to them.

I came here to win three points and it would have made no difference if Carlo Ancelotti was playing up front

Kenny Dalglish

"I came here to win three points and it would have made no difference if Carlo Ancelotti was playing up front, I'd still want the three points. The personnel of the opposition is not important to me."

As for his own personnel, Dalglish revealed that injured £35m signing Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez - an unused substitute against Chelsea - might have to bide their time to force their way into Liverpool's attack having both arrived on transfer deadline day.

"We have signed two fantastic players in Suarez and Carroll and we're looking forward to seeing them - if they can get in the team that is," added Dalglish, who was placed in charge until the summer after the departure of Roy Hodgson in January.

"With the way we played today that won't be easy."

The Scot also refused to be drawn on his own prospects of landing the managerial job on a full-time basis and simply said: "I'm only doing what I said I would come in and do, which is help.

"I'll never stand in the way of progress at this football club. I have never had a conversation with the owners beyond the conversation I had when I came in.

"That's where we stand at the moment and until there is more to discuss, that is where we are."

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has already stated that he will do "everything in my power to ensure that he [Dalglish] stays here for a long time, beyond the initial six months" and team-mate Jamie Carragher is also keen for the current manager to get the job on a permanent basis.

"I have great respect for Roy so I would never say that things have changed for the better and all that type of stuff," said Carragher.

"As a club and as players we didn't do enough to help the previous manager. Our performances weren't good enough and the manager took the brunt of it. Obviously things have improved now and I think Kenny coming in has got the supporters and everyone onside.

"It's not our decision [if Dalgish is appointed fulltime] - it's up to the owners. He's a hero to me and Stevie and the results are going well. That stakes his claim and, if you are asking me, I'd love him to be the manager [permanently]."

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see also
Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool
06 Feb 11 |  Premier League
Dalglish hails 'magnificent' Liverpool
06 Feb 11 |  Liverpool
Sunday football as it happened
06 Feb 11 |  Football
Sunday's football photos
06 Feb 11 |  Football
Gerrard wants long Dalglish stay
18 Jan 11 |  Liverpool
How to watch Match of the Day
09 Aug 11 |  Match of the Day

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