Carlo Ancelotti prepared for criticism

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The Independent Football

Carlo Ancelotti expects to come in for criticism following Chelsea's dramatic slump in fortunes.

The Blues still lead the Barclays Premier League on goal difference from Manchester United.

But Saturday's shock 1-0 reversal at Birmingham - in the bottom three at the start of the game - was their third defeat in four league games.

It was also the first time Chelsea had lost back-to-back league matches since May 2006.

Ancelotti said: "Obviously (criticism) can happen when the team don't win.

"There is more responsibility on the coach but this is normal.

"This is my job. If the team is not doing a good job, it is normal to have more responsibility. I don't have a problem,

"Am I prepared for criticism? Yes, I am prepared. This is the life of the coach.

"This is a difficult moment but I think we are capable of moving on.

"It is true we didn't play well last weekend against Sunderland but we played very well against Birmingham. Everyone who saw the game can say this."

Ancelotti believes Chelsea will bounce back from their mini slump although he admits defensively they have to tighten up.

Birmingham scored from their only worthwhile attack through Lee Bowyer.

Ancelotti said: "It is important to have a difficult moment and stay top of the table.

"We know very well that we have lost three games in four and this is not good for Chelsea. For this reason, I have to take my responsibility.

"But I am not worried about the team because I think we are again able to play good football and so we have to move and look forward to the next game against Newcastle.

"How much of a concern is the defence? At Birmingham, we conceded from the one opportunity they created. We had 10-12 opportunities to score ourselves.

"Obviously we have to stay more concentrated if you concede one opportunity and the opponents score from it. There we have to have more concentration."

Ancelotti is reluctant to talk about the departure of his assistant, Ray Wilkins, who is claiming unfair dismissal.

But he claimed the situation is different to the likes of Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson with the Italian not having complete control of team matters.

He said: "This (the Wilkins situation) is not the reason why we lost the game(s).

"We lost the games because in four games, we scored just one goal. We have to improve there, to stay more in focus, we have to continue to play like we did against Birmingham."

But, when it was suggested to Ancelotti Ferguson would not tolerate such a move at United without giving it his full approval, he said: "It is a different position to Ferguson.

"It is different because Ferguson has total control of the team. I have just the technical direction, full stop, okay."

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