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."
Latest in Sport
Monaco is a street circuit where driver ability is more important than anywhere else and if we take ...
by Gareth Purnell
24 May 2013 02:00 AM
Three weeks ago as I drove off the Eurostar, I remember thinking what a very long time it was until ...
by Martin Ayres
23 May 2013 05:29 PM
McDowell did brilliantly to land the World Match Play title in Bulgaria last week, but it’s a format...
by Gareth Purnell
23 May 2013 09:13 AM
David Moyes delighted after Rio Ferdinand agrees to stay at Manchester United with new one-year contract
Sergio Garcia / Tiger Woods 'fried chicken' racism row takes fresh twist after 'coloured athletes' comment
After racist remark, Sergio Garcia fights for reputation as Tiger Woods slams 'hurtful' fried chicken joke
New Manchester City manager must deliver five trophies in five years
Manchester United slash interest bill by £10m a year
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 2 'He would help anyone if he could': Lee Rigby named as Woolwich victim
- 3 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Horrific attack brings terror to London’s streets
- 4 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 5 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.