Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has urged his team to concentrate on at least finishing second in the Premier League as they face Newcastle on Sunday.Chelsea know they could still be crowned champions if leaders United lose to both Blackburn and Blackpool in their final two games.
But it is so unlikely that Ancelotti has urged his team just to think about runners-up spot.
“We don’t have to think we can win the title again,” he said.
“Our aim is to reach second place. We have a possibility, winning the game against Newcastle.”
“This is the motivation for the players – to play a good game, have a reaction after the bad game we had against United.”
“It’s not been an easy week because we lost something.”
“Before the game against United, everything was okay.”
“Now our aims have changed. But second place is important. We have to do our best to reach this position in the table.”
Ancelotti knows the match could be his Stamford Bridge farewell if, as predicted, he is not offered an extended contract by owner Roman Abramovich.
But he refuses to give up hope that he could stay.
“I don’t want to think about it being my last game,” Ancelotti said.
“It’s the last home game. I am focused to put the best team out, to win, to say thanks to our fans.”
“They gave us fantastic support and it’s not been an easy season for them.”
“It doesn’t matter if it’s the last or not. We have to wait and see what happens at the end of the season.”
Chelsea have no new injuries worries but have confirmed that Jose Bosingwa will miss the rest of the season with a knee problem.
Ancelotti is likely to resist the temptation to make wholesale changes and has told striker Fernando Torres he keeps his place.
“Torres will start the game, but we don’t want to change our philosophy,” he said.
“We want to maintain it. I want to do some changes, but not a lot. Our kind of play will be the same.”