Ancelotti fumes over festive fixture schedule

AFP, Thursday 23 Dec 2010

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has slammed the Premier League fixture planners as his side prepare to play twice in three days over Christmas


Ancelotti's team, who trail leaders Manchester United by three points, will play a crucial clash against title rivals Arsenal on December 27 before a home match against Bolton two days later and the Italian is unhappy with the champions' workload.

Bolton host West Bromwich Albion on December 26 as part of the traditional Boxing Day schedule, while Chelsea have to wait another 24 hours before their fixture at Arsenal as the game is being shown live on television in England.

That means Owen Coyle's players will have an extra day to ease their aching limbs before travelling to Stamford Bridge to face the Blues and Ancelotti believes that gives Bolton a significant advantage.

"I want to say something about the Bolton game because we won't have the possibility to recover," Ancelotti told reporters on Thursday.

"We'll have two days, compared to Bolton who, unfortunately, play on the 26th. We play on the 27th.
"That's not a good thing, to have one day less to recover. I’m not happy about that."

Meanwhile, Ancelotti insists Chelsea are not interested in signing Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric following reports that the Blues were ready to make a 30 million pounds (46 million dollars) bid for the Croatian during the January transfer window.

Modric has been a key figure in Tottenham's impressive form over the last 18 months and would offer Ancelotti a different kind of option in midfield but the Italian played down talk of a big-money move.

"Modric is a good player but we are not interested," he said. "We have to have respect for Tottenham.

He is a good player but nobody speaks of Modric here.

"If we need to have something we are able to do it but now there are four games in a few days.

"This period is very important for the Premier League. We have to be focused on this period. I don't need to talk about anything else."

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