Carlo Ancelotti in dark over Chelsea future ahead of 'last' home game
Carlo Ancelotti today refused to contemplate the prospect of Chelsea's Barclays Premier League clash with Newcastle being his final home game at the club.
Ancelotti appears set to be sacked at the end of the season after overseeing the worst campaign at Stamford Bridge since Roman Abramovich's takeover.
The Blues boss could be forgiven for saying his goodbyes to Chelsea's supporters this weekend but he said this afternoon: "I don't want to think about it being my last (home) game.
"I am focused to put the best team out, to win, to say thanks to our fans.
"They gave us fantastic support and it's not been an easy season for them.
"It doesn't matter if it's the last or not. We have to wait and see what happens at the end of the season."
He added: "I don't know what is going to happen about my future, but I'm not nervous. I'm quiet. I'm calm.
"I hope to stay - I've said a lot of times - but if something's changed, I will find another solution without problem."
Despite Chelsea being on the brink of only their third trophyless season of the Abramovich era, Ancelotti appears to have retained the backing of the majority of the club's supporters.
He said: "For me, it's fantastic.
"To think they appreciate my job and are close to me, continue to say this, it's a good step and aim that I was able to reach in this year."
Chelsea's players have also repeatedly come out in support of Ancelotti.
The Italian's sacking would mean the club would be looking for their seventh manager in eight years, the sort of instability that could do more harm than good.
Yet, Ancelotti said: "I think that I have a very good relationship with the players.
"But I don't think it would be a problem for next season if I'm not here. I hope, obviously, to stay here. But there may be another coach and they'll have the same relationship.
"We're speaking about very professional players, players with a lot of experience.
"Every coach who was here in the past had a good relationship with the players. They gave, all the time, their best."
Sunday's defeat at Manchester United means Chelsea could kick off on Sunday having seen Sir Alex Ferguson's men claim the title 24 hours earlier.
Motivation might therefore be a problem against Newcastle but Ancelotti said: "Our aim is to reach second place.
"This is the motivation for the players - to play a good game, have a reaction after the bad game we had against United.
"It's not been an easy week because we lost something.
"Before the game against United, everything was okay. Now our aims have changed.
"But second place is important. We have to do our best to reach this position in the table."
With the pressure to win the title now off, Ancelotti can afford to experiment somewhat on Sunday.
He revealed Fernando Torres would start against Newcastle, adding: "I want to make some changes, but not a lot."
But he refused to confirm whether David Luiz would pay the price for his blunder at Old Trafford that gifted United the lead after just 36 seconds.
He added: "I think that he was not responsible for the defeat.
"It was a collective mistake, not individual.
"I was a little bit angry against him, but he doesn't have to be afraid about this. He is a fantastic player.
"The defender has to stay focused for 90 minutes, from the beginning to the end.
"He is very young. He has to improve on his focus."
Ancelotti also rubbished reports of a bust-up with right-back Jose Bosingwa, who will miss the final two games of the season with a knee injury.
"I read that Bosingwa had an argument with me - he didn't have an argument," he added.
"I didn't keep him out of the squad because he made a mistake against United (in the Champions League).
"If he was not involved in the game, it was just for his behaviour, not his mistake."
Latest in Sport
Kevin Garside: Manchester United may have history and tradition but, as David Moyes never realised, a big-time manager always bends such things to his will
Louis van Gaal denies problem with Wilfried Zaha despite Manchester United forward being given no game time
Calum Chambers: Who is Arsenal's £16m right-back target?
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
Arsenal transfer news: Versatile Calum Chambers is a 'gamble', admits Arsene Wenger as Arsenal spending passes £50m
- 1 Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star, dies aged 45
- 5 Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc