Chelsea have lost the fear factor admits Carlo Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti admits Chelsea no longer have the confident aura which saw them race away at the top of the Barclays Premier League at the beginning of the season.

The Chelsea manager, who has seen his side lose three of their last four league games, will take his team to Newcastle on Sunday still missing the experience of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Michael Essien.

Terry is expected to return next week after the pain from a nerve problem subsided in his leg, while Lampard will also be back in full training after a recurring groin injury. Essien, however, is suspended.

But it is the loss of the fear factor, experienced by teams in the past against Chelsea, which Ancelotti pinpoints as most crucial.

Ancelotti said: "At the beginning of the season, when you're winning 6-0, you can put pressure on teams. Now a lot of teams have improved their confidence to play us.

"This is normal. We've had some problems playing against particular teams."

A late goal from Florent Malouda earned Chelsea a Champions League victory in midweek against MSK Zilina.

But Ancelotti is bewildered why Chelsea's free-scoring game - only one goal in their last four league matches - has dried up over the past month.

Ancelotti said: "I am surprised about this. From the beginning of the season we didn't have a problem scoring or winning games.

"The last few games, particularly away from home, we weren't able to score. Our statistic has gone down from 21% to 6% in shots converted. We have to improve that.

"Against Sunderland we played very poorly. The other games, we've played well. We created a lot of opportunities to score and were sometimes unlucky. We have to stay more in focus.

"I said those first few weeks (of the season) wasn't real football. It was PlayStation football. But I didn't think it would be possible for us only to score once in four games.

"But it's not the time to speak about the missing players. We have to stay focused on the players we have. They have good ability and have put in good performances before this period. The others will come back and give support to the team when they're ready."

Ancelotti will welcome back Jose Bosingwa against Newcastle, who knocked Chelsea out of the Carling Cup earlier this season.

"They won here and showed good organisation," said Ancelotti. "They're a good team.

"They have fantastic support from their fans. We have to be ready and pay attention.

"Chris Hughton (Newcastle manager)is doing a fantastic job. He did a fantastic job last season, winning the Championship. They're strong up front."

Ancelotti wants his side to show the same invention and determination they did against Birmingham last week, when they were unlucky to lose 1-0.

"We did everything right," said Ancelotti.

"The performance was very good and we have to maintain this level of football, this intensity, against Newcastle."

Ancelotti also gave his view on the controversy surrounding former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who watched two of his Real Madrid players, Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos, apparently get themselves sent off for time-wasting in the Champions League against Ajax to ensure they could serve suspensions and be free of disciplinary problems for the start of the knockout stages.

Ancelotti said: "It was a strange thing to see the player take a yellow card with this reason. UEFA have to take a decision now. I don't want to judge the behaviour of the Real Madrid players but for fair play, it's not a good thing.

"But, a lot of times, this happens. Maybe UEFA need to put a precise rule into operation about this. There is not a precise rule at the moment. At the end of the group, it would be better to have an amnesty and take out the cards."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...