Carlo Ancelotti was in a confident mood at Cobham this afternoon as his Chelsea side prepare to enter yet another defining weekend in this most dramatic of campaigns.
The Blues await the visit of Tottenham to Stamford Bridge on Saturday, knowing that a win will take them within 3 points of leaders Manchester United who visit the capital on Sunday to face off against Arsenal at the Emirates.
Considering Chelsea are still to face Manchester United at Old Trafford next weekend, the destiny if the Premier League title could well hinge upon the direction results swing over the course of the following days.
Ancelotti faced the media and detailed exactly what his side must do if a successful defense of their Premier League crown is to be achieved.
“We have to do our job and that’s to win against Tottenham,” he said.
“It will not be easy because Tottenham are a very strong team but we have to keep it open in the Premier League until the last minute.”
“It will be a good motivation because we can put more pressure on Manchester United and the game they have to play on Sunday.”
“In two weeks everything will be decided.”
Coinciding with the Blues re-emergence in recent months has been the return to form of Didier Drogba who’s performances have helped to keep Chelsea unbeaten in the league in 2011 and the manager believes that the Ivorian has finally overcome his battle with Malaria and returned to his devastating best.
With Fernando Torres releasing the pressure valve after finding the net for his new club for the first time in Chelsea’s 3-0 victory over West Ham last weekend, Ancelotti is keen to continue developing a system that allows both his prodigious forwards to shine, but conceded that each player would have to make sacrifices for the team.
“I understood Torres needed to score to move on from this moment. I was not surprised by the reaction of his team mates because in the last games they tried to do everything to help him score.”
“Everyone was happy; the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge was fantastic when he scored.
‘Obviously he will have less pressure now, this is normal because he scored the first goal for Chelsea. In the next game he will show his quality.”
“‘Torres and Drogba can play together. My philosophy and my opinion is when you have very good players you have to put them together. If a player has skills, ability, then they can play together.
“Maybe they have to sacrifice something with their abilities, their skills, but they can play together and it is good for the team to reach better results.
“We tried it this week in some training sessions. Today’s too early to make a decision about this but it will not be a surprise if they start together on Saturday.”
The manager had words of praise for his opposite number Harry Redknapp and believes they have the talent within the squad to fight for 4th place and that elusive Champions League spot.
“Harry Redknapp is a fantastic man and a fantastic manager,” he said.
“Tottenham play attacking football, so we want to do this. It should be a fantastic game to watch.”
“They can attack with Bale, they can counter-attack with Lennon, they can use their abilities in the air with Crouch and they have Van der Vaart who is a very good player who can play in the hole, so they have a lot of skills up front.”
“We must pay attention and stay focused.”
Despite concerns regarding the fitness of Brazilian duo Ramires and Alex, both missing since the Champions League exit to Manchester United and with Michael Essien hobbling off against West Ham, the manager revealed good news in that he has a full strength squad to choose from for the weekend, giving the Blues a huge boost ahead of the run in.