Carlo not in ‘total control’

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.”