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Carlo Ancelotti dismisses Frank Lampard claim

Frank Lampard
Lampard says Chelsea must start believing in themselves again

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has laughed off Frank Lampard's claim the climate at the club is akin to the last days of Luis Felipe Scolari's reign.

Scolari was sacked by Chelsea in 2009 after a series of poor results, but the Blues are currently on a worse run.

"This is not good news!" joked Ancelotti when questioned about midfielder Lampard's comments.

"Maybe it's the same atmosphere, but we have the capacity to move on. I support the players and they support me."

He added: "I don't know the feeling with Scolari, but the feeling here with the players is very good."

Ancelotti has come under increasing pressure, with his team's form tailing off badly after they made a flying start to the season.

The end of Scolari's reign was a bit like this. You lose the feeling of being able to win every week.

Frank Lampard

The reigning champions and FA Cup winners have taken only 10 points from their last 11 Premier League games - their worst run in the league for almost 15 years - and have concerns over the depth of their squad, although they did thrash Ipswich 7-0 in the FA Cup last weekend.

Ancelotti continues to enjoy the backing of the club's billionaire benefactor, Roman Abramovich, who he spoke to on the telephone this week and who is expected to attend the home game with Blackburn on Saturday.

Ancelotti admitted Abramovich was "not happy" with recent results but that their exchange had been "positive", giving the Italian the confidence to dismiss Lampard's claims.

"I think it's not a big problem if the players are not happy," he explained. "I think the only reason they are not happy sometimes is that we didn't get the right results. This is the only reason.

"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 admitted the FA Cup win over Ipswich had improved the mood at Stamford Bridge.

"The week was good," he said. "I hope that tomorrow we can show this also not just on the training ground but on the pitch against Blackburn."

England midfielder Lampard had claimed that the recent series of poor results had eroded the players' confidence and likening the atmosphere to the final days of the tenure of Scolari, who was dismissed in February 2009 after less than eight months in the job, following a run that saw them take 17 points from 12 league games.


"At the moment, there's a bit of a feeling that we're not sure what's going to happen when we go out there," he said.

"The end of Scolari's reign was a bit like this. You lose the feeling of being able to win every week.

"Once you've had that and lose it, it's hard to get it back."

Chelsea's recent drop in form has been apparent since the club told Ray Wilkins he was no longer needed but Lampard, 32, refused to blame the coach's departure in November for a sequence that has seen them slip nine points behind leaders Manchester United having played a game more.

Lampard, who returned from a lengthy spell on the sidelines last month, told the Sun: "We won The Double last year, all of us together including Ray. Ray is no longer here.

"But the club makes the decisions and, if [owner] Roman Abramovich wasn't here, we wouldn't have won three Premier League titles.

"Things are important off the pitch but we've been putting out a side good enough to beat teams we've lost against.

"What we can't do as individuals is use what happened to Ray as an excuse. We have to perform regardless."

Speaking ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash against Blackburn, Lampard added of Chelsea's current lack of confidence: "If we're honest we all think that. That's just the way it is. You can't help that.

"It won't change anyone's determination to want to win but you can't help but feel it as we haven't been winning.

"We need to work in the same direction, follow the manager and, if we do, I believe it will turn. If we don't, it won't.

"This is a bad moment, make no mistake about it. We don't have to hide it any more. It has been a long enough time."

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see also
Ancelotti wary despite Cup boost
09 Jan 11 |  FA Cup
Title bid fading, says Ancelotti
06 Jan 11 |  Chelsea
Ancelotti 'lucky' to retain role
05 Jan 11 |  Chelsea
Wilkins backs Blues to come good
11 Dec 10 |  Chelsea
Ancelotti 'does not fear for job'
10 Dec 10 |  Chelsea
Wilkins resolves Chelsea dispute
20 Nov 10 |  Chelsea
Chelsea part company with Wilkins
11 Nov 10 |  Chelsea

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