Ancelotti targets 'fantastic season'

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Carlo Ancelotti has reacted to the Champions League exit at the hands of Jose Mourinho's Internazionale by setting his Chelsea side the target of completing a Premier League and FA Cup Double and declaring himself confident that he will remain in charge at Stamford Bridge next season.

Ancelotti's standing at the club was weakened by the manner of the midweek defeat in which Mourinho clearly won the tactical battle over the Italian, ensuring Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich must wait at least another year before landing the prize he wants most.

The Inter game has prompted a hasty realignment of the club's immediate priorities and Ancelotti, helped by assistant Ray Wilkins, delved into the history books to motivate his deflated players. Those aims must now focus exclusively on domestic success ahead of a summer when the manager admits there will be new faces coming into the club, with Ancelotti insisting he will still be in charge to oversee the changes.

Abramovich visited the club's Cobham training ground this week to speak to his manager and players in the wake of Tuesday's defeat to Inter and Ancelotti remains confident he has the full backing of his employer.

Asked if he thought he would still be at Chelsea next season, the Italian replied: "Yes, I'm sure. 100 per cent. I'm sure. Because I think that, at the end of the season, we will have had a very good season. A fantastic season."

To satisfy that criteria, Ancelotti knows he must deliver at least one trophy, although his sights are clearly set on two. "We are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and, maybe, two points behind Manchester United but with a game in hand," said the manager, who admitted he spent a sleepless night on Tuesday.

"So our destiny is in our own hands. If we win every game, we can do the double. That's very difficult, but we can try to do this. That's very important, to think about this.

"Only five teams, I think, have won a Double in 140 years here in England. That puts a new motivation in all the club. To shift the objectives because we were focused on the Champions League and now we've changed our aim."