Ancelotti not in ‘total control’

Carlo Ancelotti admits he does not have "total control of the team" at Chelsea, and says he is responsible for "just the technical direction".

The Blues have lost three of their last four Premier League games, with Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Birmingham coming after defeats to Liverpool and Sunderland, all of which have allowed the champions to be caught at the top of the table.

The sacking of assistant boss Ray Wilkins – a decision taken over the head of Ancelotti – was met with disbelief by many at Stamford Bridge, with the Italian manager admitting he does not have "total control" over his team.

When it was suggested to Ancelotti that Sir Alex Ferguson would not tolerate a decision such as Wilkins’ sacking being made 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."

Ancelotti, though, insists Wilkins’ exit is not an excuse for his side’s dramatic slump in form, and accepts that criticism will inevitably follow after such a poor run of results.

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.

"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, who sat alongside new assistant Michael Emenalo at St Andrew’s, 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."