Carlo happy with Blues squad
Despite his side's recent downturn in form the Chelsea manager believes his squad is strong enough to deliver the twin goals of the Premier League title and Abramovich's priority of the Champions League trophy. Ancelotti takes his team to Newcastle after three defeats in their last four league matches and having scraped past MSK Zilina in the Champions League in midweek with a late goal from Florent Malouda. The Chelsea boss believes that goal could have been a turning point. He said: "It was an important result even if we know it was not against a top team. But maybe the victory against Zilina could be a good step to move on quickly." Ancelotti is buoyed by the fact that John Terry, who feared he could be out for months with a nerve problem in a leg, looks set to return to action against Everton next week with Frank Lampard also due to resume full training. And while centre-back Alex is scheduled to have surgery on a troublesome knee next week after filling in for Terry at Newcastle, Ancelotti is happy with Chelsea's strength in depth. "We don't have long-term injuries," he said. "We don't need to have other players in January. We have to look at the situation of Alex and Terry and Lampard. "If all the players don't show problems we don't need new players in January." Ancelotti insisted that allowing Ricardo Carvalho to leave in the summer was not a mistake. He added: "It was Carvalho's desire to go. We don't want to keep players who are not happy to stay here. There was an opportunity for him to play for Real Madrid. We have three fantastic centre-backs. "(Jeffrey) Bruma is young, he played a good game against Zilina. Three experienced centre-backs is enough." Ancelotti convened a clear-the-air meeting with the players to try to thrash out the reasons for the side's recent dip and the strikers have been undergoing extra shooting practice, but it is not Ancelotti's style to rant and rave. "I want to maintain a quiet, calm atmosphere," he explained. "I have spoken with the players and everybody is agreed on the same way. We have to move on quickly. "The dialogue with the players is important. We have to clarify what is the problem together." It was decided that Chelsea's biggest problem was not playing at a high-enough tempo and now he believes his team can emerge from their current concerns stronger than ever, much as they did after being beaten by Inter Milan in the last 16 of the Champions League last season. He said: "It was an important experience last year after the defeat against Inter. After that the team was stronger than before that situation and we can do the same. On Sunday, Chelsea must find a way to tame the bulldozing talents of Newcastle's 21-year-old striker Andy Carroll, no easy feat when Alex is soldiering on with a dodgy knee. "It is a good test," is how Ancelotti puts it. "Carroll is a good striker, very young, he has a lot of ability and skill. "He could be an important player in the future for England. He reminds me of Joe Jordan, this type of player." It is also a test for Ancelotti, who refuses to allow the onfield setbacks and the controversy over sacked assistant Ray Wilkins to ruffle his demeanour but on Saturday also saw Frank Arnesen depart. He said: "It is my character to be funny sometimes. I am living a fantastic life. I love my job." Cue the inevitable question of whether he would remain at Stamford Bridge next season. It teased a smile to his lips and the response: "I think so."