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Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010

News photo
Stalemate: Everton's Mikel Arteta (left) and Sunderland's Danny Welbeck vie for the ball in Premier League action on Monday night. The match ended in a 2-2 draw. AP PHOTO

Ancelotti denies reports he's leaving Chelsea

COBHAM, England (AP) Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti insisted Monday that he is happy at the club and wants to stay at Stamford Bridge "for a long time," denying reports that he was on the verge of quitting.

The Italian disputed the widespread speculation in the British media that he was considering leaving the reigning English champions in a dispute over control of the team.

"These rumors are totally untrue. I don't know why they came out in the papers," Ancelotti said. "I've said a lot of times I like to stay here. I love this club. I have a lot of confidence in these players and this squad.

"My aim is to stay here at this club for a long time," he added. "It depends on me. The last year I did a good job and I want to do the same. My aim is to stay here."

Ancelotti, who came to Chelsea 18 months ago from AC Milan, also said reports he had consulted the League Managers' Association about his position at Stamford Bridge were wrong.

"I didn't call the LMA. They called me last night when I was relaxing at home, just to find out what was going on," he said.

Chelsea has lost three of its last four matches in the Premier League but remains top of the table — level on points with Manchester United.

Ancelotti acknowledged he is under pressure after his team's recent bad run but is fully committed to the club.

"When the teams don't reach the right result, the team is under pressure. Obviously I am under pressure," Ancelotti said. "But I am focused on my job and want my team to play better than they are doing at this moment."

Events off the pitch have also sparked fears about Ancelotti's future.

The club's board made the decision last week to dismiss assistant coach Ray Wilkins, who was close to Ancelotti, and replace him with Michael Emenalo on the instigation of Russian owner Roman Abramovich.

Ancelotti said Wilkins' departure had not affected his position as manager.

"I am sad because the team doesn't win — the club decided to change and I have to stay focused on the job," he said. "This is not the reason the team is losing at the moment. I maintain the same relationship with Ray."

Ancelotti won the League Cup and F.A. Cup last season in his first year in English soccer.

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