Ancelotti: We can conquer Europe
Carlo Ancelotti insists that Chelsea can win the UEFA Champions League with the squad he inherited from Guus Hiddink. Chelsea have made just four signings this summer, but are yet to land a superstar player. The Italian coach revealed that he and the Chelsea board believe they can achieve success with the group of players currently at his disposal.
Ancelotti insists the cash is there should he want to bolster his squad with a big-money signing, but says that the club has 'closed the book' for now. However, he is adamant the quality in Chelsea's squad is sufficient for them to go one step further than last season's semi-final and even go on to win the UEFA Champions League.
"The book is closed," said Ancelotti. "We have to wait one week for the end of the window, but the book is closed now. When I arrived in Chelsea we worked together and we took a decision together. We are not interested in players because we always thought we had a very good team.
"I am the coach and I have responsibility for the technical area and the club gave me a very good team, very good players and we didn't need other players," he said. "If we took a decision to take another player, the club was ready to put money up.
"I want to say that the club have supported me and if I wanted to take other players, there was not a problem for sure. But we want to take a player we need. This is a very competitive squad in all positions of the pitch.
"Chelsea didn't win the [UEFA] Champions League, but they were close to winning with these players and I think with these players we can win," said Ancelotti.
"If we can manage to take a little step, we can win with the same players. To win the Champions League, you have to pay attention to details and have some luck. I am happy to train with Chelsea. Milan was a great squad and Chelsea is the same. There is a different quality of players, but the mental attitude is the same.
"I will give 100 per cent to do my best for the players and the team. I think that to take a little step we have put our quality on the pitch in every game," he said. "I liked Chelsea's play last season, but I want to do a little bit different this year."
Ancelotti has made a winning start to his Chelsea career with victories over Hull City and Sunderland in the Barclays Premier League. The Blues face Fulham at Craven Cottage on Sunday in what will be Ancelotti's first taste of a London derby, and he has been boosted by the rejuvenation of Portugal midfielder Deco, a player who looked set for the exit door this summer after an injury-plagued first season at Stamford Bridge.
Ancelotti said: "For us, he is a very important player because he has good quality in midfield and he is happy. Now he is not injured. He has good motivation and works hard.
"He didn't play so much because, with a player over 30, you have to take the right control in order for him to stay fit. We want to maintain the situation for a long time. I think he is one of the most exciting players to watch in the Barclays Premier League," he said. "He takes the right decision always."
Meanwhile Frank Lampard has revealed how he takes strength from the memory of his late mother Pat. Lampard became Chelsea's joint fifth highest goalscorer when he converted a penalty in the 3-1 win over Sunderland on Tuesday night. It brought him level with the legendary Jimmy Greaves and Lampard revealed that his goal celebration, arms and eyes raised upwards to the heavens, was a dedication to his mother who passed away last year.
"It is always a gesture to my mum," Lampard said. "She is always there for me and I think she gives me that little edge.
"Football can sometimes be a way out for me, a relief. Other people go through the same sort of thing and you have to carry on with your life, but I take very much strength from her memory," he said. "She is with me all the time. That, in a way, can give you a bit of strength to carry on as well."