I know that I'm lucky still to be in Chelsea job, says Ancelotti

Carlo Ancelotti was honest enough to admit yesterday that he is lucky to still be in a job after overseeing Chelsea's worst run of form for a decade. The Italian's future as Chelsea manager remains in doubt as long as the champions' form is that of a relegation-threatened club rather than a team fighting to defend their Premier League crown.

Chelsea's record of 10 points from their last 10 games demonstrates the extent of the team's collective nervous breakdown over the past two months. In the past, the club's owner, Roman Abramovich, has sacked managers for far less.

Ancelotti was asked if he thought such a record might have earned him the sack in his native Italy, and he replied, with a rueful laugh: "It depends. I think I am safe. I am a lucky man. I don't know. I understand that a lot of coaches are sacked with these results. I can say I am a lucky man."

He cannot rely on luck too much longer. While Abramovich was preoccupied spending £5m on having stars including the Black Eyed Peas perform at a lavish New Year's Eve party at his Caribbean estate in St Bart's, Chelsea were stuttering to a narrow victory over Bolton Wanderers before conceding a late equaliser to Aston Villa in Sunday's 3-3 draw that leaves them fifth in the table.

Abramovich has agreed that the squad needs strengthening during the winter transfer window, with the priorities being a centre-half and a striker. However, the manager needs to prove he has the ability to turn the side's results around quickly.

Ancelotti believes the time to judge him is at the end of the season, and he characteristically used a food analogy to make his point. "When you go to a restaurant, you have to pay the bill when you finish your meal," he said. "It's the same here. We have to pay the bill at the end of the season. At the end, the club can judge my job and everything."

Ancelotti predicted confidently his side will win tonight's game at Wolverhampton Wanderers. "We will not lose. We will win. I'm confident. We are improving and the team is very close to moving on from this difficult moment," he said.

The former Milan coach has certainly earned the right to be given time to correct things, having won the Double in his first season at the club. The players are also still behind him, judging by the way they all ran to the manager to celebrate what they thought was John Terry's winning goal against Aston Villa.

However, having released Michael Ballack, Joe Cole, Ricardo Carvalho, Deco and Juliano Belletti last summer and replaced them only with midfielders Ramires and Yossi Benayoun, there is an immediate need to beef up the squad.

Ancelotti refused to be drawn on names yesterday but did admit his requirement is for young players who would not need time to adjust to the Premier League. "It will not be just for this year. We are looking for young players, with experience and possibility also to buy players who don't need time to adapt," he said. Gary Cahill of Bolton Wanderers is one that would seem to fit the bill.

With the club currently in fifth place, there remains a fear that Chelsea could miss out on next season's Champions League, but Ancelotti confidently claimed that would not be the case. He said. "The most important thing is to finish in the top four and play in the Champions League next year. I am not worried because we have the skills and ability to stay in the top four without problems."

News
newsMcKamey Manor says 'there is no escape until the tour is completed'
Voices
Hunted: A stag lies dead on Jura, where David Cameron holidays and has himself stalked deer
voicesThe Scotland I know is becoming a playground for the rich
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Architect Frank Gehry is regarded by many as the most important architect of the modern era
arts + entsGehry has declared that 98 per cent of modern architecture is "s**t"
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi during Barcelona training in August
footballPete Jenson co-ghost wrote Suarez’s autobiography and reveals how desperate he's been to return
Money
Welcome to tinsel town: retailers such as Selfridges will be Santa's little helpers this Christmas, working hard to persuade shoppers to stock up on gifts
news
Arts and Entertainment
Soul singer Sam Smith cleared up at the Mobo awards this week
newsSam Smith’s Mobo triumph is just the latest example of a trend
News
Laurence Easeman and Russell Brand
people
Sport
Fans of Dulwich Hamlet FC at their ground Champion Hill
footballFans are rejecting the £2,000 season tickets, officious stewarding, and airline-stadium sponsorship
News
Shami Chakrabarti
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours
Sport
football
News
news
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

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker