Carlo Ancelotti says Chelsea team spirit remains

Under-fire Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti insists the woeful recent form which has all but eliminated his side from title contention has not broken the spirit of the squad.

The Blues slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Wolves last night to make it one win from their last nine Barclays Premier League games - their worst run since the 1995/96 season.

A miserable haul of 10 points from their last 11 outings has dropped Ancelotti's side nine points behind leaders Manchester United, having played a game more, and they face a fight to secure even a top-four place.

That run of results has called Ancelotti's position into question.

He insisted after the match he did not fear the sack from owner Roman Abramovich, but anything other than a win at home to Ipswich in the FA Cup third round on Sunday could make the pressure on him almost unbearable.

The former AC Milan boss, though, has urged his players not to lose confidence.

"The players are focused. They are working hard. They are staying together," he said.

"There are no problems (in the squad) - they have a good spirit.

"There are a lot of reasons that can explain this moment, but that doesn't matter.

"Now we have to look forward, to the next game. We have to prepare well and we have above all to maintain confidence at this moment.

"It's very easy now to lose confidence."

He added in an interview with Chelsea TV: "I think that on the training ground everything is okay. The players are working hard. They are angry and they want to move on quickly from this moment.

"I think that to move on quickly from this moment we have stay compact together. Not just the players, not just the manager, not just the staff - also all the people that are involved with this club with emotion with passion can do something to move on quickly from this moment."

The strength in depth of the Blues' squad has been called into question, most notably last month by their own captain John Terry.

Ancelotti revealed there were "some opportunities" for him to bring in reinforcements in the transfer window, but was reluctant to elaborate further.

"Looking for the transfer market there are some opportunities we can do something," he said. "But I think it's private and confidential.

"The line-up (against Wolves) was very good. At this moment we have to stay focused on the details."

Wolves' victory, which lifted them out of the drop zone, meant they had beaten Liverpool and Chelsea in the space of a week.

They have, however, lost to relegation candidates West Ham and Wigan in their other two games since Christmas, but manager Mick McCarthy was philosophical about the fact his side need to keep digging themselves out of trouble.

"If you're going to be good at something, be good at digging," he said.

"We're probably only going to have 10 really good days in a season. Out of 38 we're going to have, what, 10 wins? And the rest of the time we're going to have to put up with feeling rubbish on a Saturday or a Wednesday night.

"That's the way it is - that's because we're one of those teams and there's a load of others that are just the same.

"We go to Manchester City next so that should be a piece of cake, shouldn't it?"

Wolves look set for a further boost with the news they are in discussions with Aston Villa midfielder Steve Sidwell over a move to Molineux.

The 28-year-old had been on the verge of a switch to West Ham, but that move now appears to have fallen through. Wolves had already agreed a fee with Villa.

Striker Kevin Doyle hopes the deal goes through.

"Steve would be an excellent signing if it happens," he said on the club's official website.

"I played with him at Reading for a number of years when we had some great success and he's also played for top clubs like Chelsea and Villa.

"If he does sign I'm sure he'll be raring to go.

"I have spoken to him this morning and we'll just have to see what happens but it would be a big boost if it goes through."

News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam