(GSM) – Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti dismissed comments from Manchester City manager’s Roberto Mancini, who said that the Blues will probably retain their Premier League crown.
Chelsea sit four points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League after five consecutive wins but Ancelotti knows that the road to the title will be a long one.
Meanwhile the Blues’ Italian tactician has backed his compatriot’s abilities, hoping that Mancini’s effort in the difficult job is appreciated by the Eastlands club.
“I agree with him,” said Ancelotti. “It’s not a mind game, I know him very well and so he knows us very well. He knows our ability.
“You have to build a mentality of a team. He doesn’t have an easy job, he is doing his best. I hope the club appreciate it.
“He’s very competitive manager because he has experience, he has ability to read the game.
“It’s a very good relationship, we were team-mates in the national team in the past. I met him two months ago in Manchester, the relationship is very good.
“Every game is easy after you win 6-0. You can say it was easy then.
“Before every game it is difficult. We started the season well but now we have another game, a different opponent and City are a strong team, they have a lot of player with a lot of skills.
“We have to prepare for the game well and do our best to play our football for 90 minutes.”
City beat Chelsea twice last season, winning 4-2 at Stamford Bridge and 2-1 at Eastlands but Ancelotti maintains that Chelsea will be more powerful this season and that he is only focusing on the upcoming clash.
“That was the past,” added Ancelotti. “I think it was a difficult moment for us when we lost at home but now it’s a different story.
“If you want to judge my team we have more confidence compared to last year, we are in a good moment. I think we can do better compared to last time.
“City have a possibility to win the title. They didn’t start so well this Premier League but they have a possibility. They have time to come back to first place in the table.
“Carlos Tevez is the most dangerous player of Man City. He has quality, he has power, he has a very good mentality. I appreciate his kind of play and we need to pay attention.”
Chelsea crashed out of the League Cup in midweek 4-3 to Newcastle but Ancelotti admits the club’s priorities are the Champions League and Premier Leauge.
“The Carling Cup (League Cup) was a different competition, we wanted to use it for the young players,” he added.
“This is a different story. The Premier League is our priority along with the Champions League. I think we will have a fresh team.
“I have a lot of confidence in my players for the game at City.”
Ancelotti goes into the match without Salomon Kalou and Yossi Benayoun, who picked up thigh and calf injuries respectively, during the London side’s the defeat by Newcastle.
Chelsea’s star midfielder Frank Lampard will also not feature in the clash, as he is out with a hernia problem, the Italian coach confirmed.
“Yossi and Salomon had a check yesterday, I think they will be able to comeback after the internationals, maybe three weeks,” added the Italian. “With muscle injuries it’s always three weeks.
“Frank is not 100 per cent so we don’t want to take a risk. We need to have more time to be fit.”
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