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Page last updated at 16:30 GMT, Monday, 28 February 2011

Carlo Ancelotti denies losing control of Chelsea squad

Barclays Premier League - Chelsea v Man Utd
Venue: Stamford Bridge Date: Tuesday, 1 March Kick-off: 1945 GMT
Coverage: Watch live on Sky Sports 2; listen on BBC Radio 5 live and local radio; text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobiles


Cole sorry for 'shooting' - Ancelotti

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti denied there is a disciplinary problem at the club after Ashley Cole accidentally shot a work placement student.

He insisted "proper action" had been taken against Cole for wounding Tom Cowan, 21, with an air rifle.

"Cobham [Chelsea's training ground] is not out of control," said Ancelotti, ahead of his side's Premier League game against Manchester United on Tuesday.

"There is discipline. If a player steps over the line, we'll take a decision."

On claims of player power, Ancelotti added: "They have no power."

Cole, 30, has apologised for his actions and Ancelotti has insisted the England left-back will be in his team to take on league leaders United at Stamford Bridge.

"He will play, yes," said Ancelotti. "Obviously, we are not happy with what happened. But I have spoken with him.

Ancelotti happy to face Rooney

"He was very disappointed with this, said sorry, made a mistake. It was an accident. We have taken proper action but he will play.

"The mistake was that the gun was here in Cobham. We didn't know the gun was here."

The Italian continued: "First, he [Cole] said sorry to the guy that was involved in this, second sorry to the team-mates, third sorry to the club."

Surrey Police have spoken to officials from Chelsea.

"We are continuing inquiries to establish whether any criminal offences have taken place," said a spokesman.

But Ancelotti dismissed the notion that Cole should face severe punishment for what could be deemed a sackable offence by many employers.

"He is our player, he always had very good behaviour here," said Ancelotti. "Now, we have to move on.

"Who didn't make a mistake in his life?"

Ancelotti will hope that the controversy does not distract his players from a game that Chelsea captain John Terry has labelled "must-win".

The Blues are 15 points adrift of United but have a chance to close the gap through two league matches they have against the Old Trafford outfit, while Ancelotti's side also have a game in hand over their rivals from north-west England.

We used to have a great record down there but our record over the last seven years or so has been poor

Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson

"It is a must-win game for us and the fans are going to be up for it," Terry told the west London club's website.

"If we can win, who knows, it could put a little bit of pressure on them and the teams around us."

Chelsea are fifth in the Premier League, five points behind third-placed Manchester City and two adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham. But they have two games in hand over City and one game in hand over Spurs.

At the very least, Chelsea will be hoping to secure a top-four place and qualification for next season's Champions League.

The last time time the Stamford Bridge outfit finished outside the top four was at the end of the 2001/2002 season - a campaign which also contained their last league defeat by a visiting United side.

They have since won five and drawn three of the top-flight matches against United and, with the Red Devils struggling on their travels this season, Terry is hopeful of continuing his side's impressive record.

"We are very confident at home and the way they play might help us," added Terry.

"I'm not sure how they are going to come at us but other teams that have come to the Bridge have sat back and we've found it hard to break them down.

"It's just a case of winning the game. I don't care how that comes about. We just have to be up for it."

United have drawn eight and lost one of their 13 league games on the road this season and manager Sir Alex Ferguson is aware of his side's difficulties at Chelsea.

"It's always a big game at Chelsea," Ferguson told MUTV. "We used to have a great record down there but our record over the last seven years or so has been poor.

"We have to do something about that and that's what Tuesday is about."

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see also
Ashley Cole air rifle claim probe
28 Feb 11 |  England
Chelsea 2-1 Man Utd
01 Mar 11 |  Premier League
How to watch Match of the Day
09 Aug 11 |  Match of the Day

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