Ancelotti denies he thinking of quitting Chelsea

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti insisted Monday that he is happy

at the club and wants to stay at Stamford Bridge ”for a long

time,” denying reports that he was on the verge of quitting.

The Italian disputed the widespread speculation in the British

media that he was considering leaving the reigning English

champions in a dispute over control of the team.

”These rumors are totally untrue. I don’t know why they came

out in the papers,” Ancelotti said. ”I’ve said a lot of times I

like to stay here. I love this club. I have a lot of confidence in

these players and this squad.”

””My aim is to stay here at this club for a long time,” he

added. ”It depends on me. The last year I did a good job and I

want to do the same. My aim is to stay here.”

Ancelotti, who came to Chelsea 18 months ago from AC Milan, also

said reports he had consulted the League Managers’ Association

about his position at Stamford Bridge were wrong.

”I didn’t call the LMA. They called me last night when I was

relaxing at home, just to find out what was going on,” he

said.

Chelsea has lost three of its last four matches in the Premier

League but remains top of the table – level on points with

Manchester United.

Ancelotti acknowledged he is under pressure after his team’s

recent bad run but is fully committed to the club.

”When the teams don’t reach the right result, the team is under

pressure. Obviously I am under pressure,” Ancelotti said. ”But I

am focused on my job and want my team to play better than they are

doing at this moment.”

Events off the pitch have also sparked fears about Ancelotti’s

future.

The club’s board made the decision last week to dismiss

assistant coach Ray Wilkins, who was close to Ancelotti, and

replace him with Michael Emenalo on the instigation of Russian

owner Roman Abramovich.

Ancelotti said Wilkins’ departure had not affected his position

as manager.

”I am sad because the team doesn’t win – the club decided to

change and I have to stay focused on the job,” he said. ”This is

not the reason the team is losing at the moment. I maintain the

same relationship with Ray.”

Ancelotti won the league and FA Cup last season in his first

year in English football. His team started this season well, too,

by qualifying for the knockout stage of the Champions League with

two games to spare and storming to the top of the Premier League,

where it has remained all season.

The Blues, however, have struggled in recent weeks, losing to

Liverpool, Sunderland and Birmingham in the space of 14 days. They

also have injury problems, with key players John Terry and Frank

Lampard currently sidelined with injuries.