Carlo: I have nothing to justify
Carlo Ancelotti insists he does not need to justify his record as Chelsea manager as he reportedly nears the end of his Stamford Bridge career.
Ancelotti looks to be a dead man walking after overseeing what is set to be the club's worst season since Roman Abramovich's takeover almost eight years ago.
Only twice before have the Blues ended a campaign without silverware during that period and the manager was sacked on both occasions.
Winning Chelsea's first double in his maiden season seems to have counted for little for Ancelotti, whose attempts to build on that success arguably have been undermined since.
The Italian admitted the buck ultimately stopped with him but felt his he did not need to defend what he had achieved under the circumstances.
He said: "I've been working here for two years. So what do I have to justify? Nothing.
"I try to do my best every time."
Ancelotti claimed he should not be judged solely on this season, in which Chelsea suffered earlier-than-expected exits from every cup competition and which sees them 11 points behind Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League.
The past 10 months have seen senior players allowed to leave without being replaced, assistant manager Ray Wilkins sacked for seemingly no good reason, while Ancelotti has also felt compelled to keep playing £50million flop Fernando Torres in must-win games.
"It's difficult to speak about this," Ancelotti added.
"We have to speak about it at the end of the season, about what was wrong and what was good."
Speculation has already turned to the identity of the Italian's replacement, with the likes of Guus Hiddink, Frank Rijkaard, Andre Villas-Boas and Marcello Lippi all linked with the job.
Ancelotti has been in limbo for now but insisted he preferred that to knowing for certain that he would be sacked.
"You can take a decision without a cold mind," he said.
"It's better to wait and see what happens at the end of the season.
"At the end, when the balls have stopped, we can speak about this."
Despite his departure seeming inevitable, Ancelotti had not given up all hope of clinging on to his job.
"I know the history of Chelsea - I will try to change it," he said, revealing he even had a plan in place for next season.
"I hope I have the chance to discuss this."
A squad overhaul looks likely, whoever oversees it, but Ancelotti insisted the club's ageing stars still had plenty in the tank.
"I don't think they're playing for their futures," he said.
"The club believes the players here are strong enough to play for Chelsea, but I think they want to show a reaction."