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Players should take blame for losses - Didier Drogba

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba
Drogba helped set up Chelsea's second against Zilina

Didier Drogba insists Chelsea's players should be blamed for their poor form and not Ray Wilkins' exit or rumours about boss Carlo Ancelotti's future.

Chelsea had lost three out of four league games before beating MSK Zilina in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Striker Drogba said: "Of course we miss Ray but the players are the same. If we lose, it is not because Ray has gone, it is down to the players.

"The manager made it clear he is here and we have to focus on the games."

Michael Emenalo, who does not have coaching qualifications, has been appointed by the Chelsea board as Ancelotti's new assistant following the departure of Wilkins, having previously been the head opposition scout at the club.

Ancelotti disappointed with slow start

The reshuffle took place during a period in which the Stamford Bridge outfit lost to Liverpool, Sunderland and Birmingham and saw their Premier League lead wiped out by Manchester United.

The recent events had combined to raise question marks over Ancelotti's future at the club and the Italian was forced to insist he wanted to stay in his role ahead of the win over Zilina.

"We have to try to resolve our problems because we are not paying well," added Drogba.

"We don't speak about this [speculation over Ancelotti's future]. We stayed focused on the game. We lost against Birmingham and we wanted to go back to winning ways."

The victory over the Slovakian side confirmed Chelsea will progress into the last 16 of the Champions League knockout stages as group winners.

McEachran showed his quality. He was good defensively, won a lot of tackles. And, obviously, with the ball he's fantastic

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti

Chelsea fielded a youthful line-up and went behind to a Babatounde Bello goal before coming out on top after Daniel Sturridge equalised and Florent Malouda grabbed a late winner.

Ancelotti was critical of Chelsea's first-half performance against Zilina but praised their response after the break and also the performance of 17-year-old midfielder Josh McEachran.

McEachran, who captained the England side that won the European Under-17 Championship in May, started his first game for the Blues after making four substitute appearances in the Premier League this season.

"I think Josh McEachran can play every game. He showed his quality. He was good defensively, won a lot of tackles. And, obviously, with the ball he's fantastic.

"He can play it short or long without problem. He played with personality and I'm happy with his performance. He has to grow, he has to improve, but he's ready to play."

Ancelotti added: "It was a difficult game because we didn't start well and went 1-0 down.


"We had a good reaction in the second half, with more intensity and good play, and plenty of opportunities to score. The second half was very good.

"But if we play like we did in the first half, it's impossible to win the Champions League. If we play like we did in the second then we'll have a chance."

He added: "They [the youngsters] played well, generally, and put in good performances for the team.

Zilina coach Pavel Hapal had little argument with Chelsea emerging as the winners as his side slumped to a fifth successive group defeat.

"Our players defended very well but Chelsea had many more chances than us and could have won by a bigger margin," he said.

"But the boys are very disappointed in the dressing room because they felt they could have got something from the game.

"In the second half we had difficulties and they got a goal. Then the difficulties continued."

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see also
Chelsea 2-1 MSK Zilina
23 Nov 10 |  Europe
Carlo plays it cool
22 Nov 10 |  Chelsea
Ancelotti rubbishes quit rumours
22 Nov 10 |  Chelsea
Chelsea appoint Wilkins successor
18 Nov 10 |  Chelsea
Wilkins wants answers from Blues
20 Nov 10 |  Chelsea

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