Ancelotti wants Drogba's best

Published Dec. 19, 2010 1:15 p.m. ET

The Ivorian striker has been short of his razor-sharp best this season, with just five Premier League goals plundered since an opening day hat-trick against West Brom. He has spent a spell on the sidelines during that time, with it later revealed that he was suffering from malaria. Drogba has, however, shaken off that ailment and was among the goals again in Chelsea's last outing against Tottenham. Ancelotti hopes the confidence he will take from that game, despite missing a crucial penalty, will see him back on top of his game after Christmas. "Obviously we need him to get back to his performances of last year," the Italian coach said in the News of the World. "There was a lot of time that he was not able to score so I think the goal against Tottenham was very good for his attitude." Ancelotti has also played down reports of a rift between himself and his star striker, with some suggesting that Drogba's celebration against Spurs was a thinly-veiled dig at his boss for leaving him o the bench. "I am not interested if it was against me or against the fans," said the Blues boss on Drogba's strut. "It doesn't matter. What matters is the fact he played well and that he reacted well when he came on. "I spoke with him a lot of times because I understood he was not in condition, that he has difficulty to play with malaria because he was not 100 per cent fit. "When he had the problem Didier was very clear with me. He said, 'I am not 100 per cent, I am not able to play at my best'. "He was tired, he had difficulty training but I put him in the last game because we needed to have his character, we needed to have his personality. "In the games without him we play differently. We could not use his power up front. It's a different team without him. "Last year he scored 37 goals which were all very important for our season. "A lot of times he didn't play so well but he was still able to score in nearly every game."