Carlo Ancelotti admits the struggles of former side Chelsea make him ‘sad’, but has ruled out returning to Stamford Bridge as manager.
Ancelotti will come up against his old employers when Real Madrid face Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-finals this week. Chelsea head into the tie in poor form, with the Blues 11th in the Premier League table after a disappointing domestic season.
Ancelotti – who led Chelsea to a Premier League and FA Cup double in 2009/10 – said he has ‘fantastic’ memories of his time in west London and admits the club’s current plight makes him ‘sad’.
“I feel sad [looking at Chelsea’s position in the table],” he told his pre-match press conference.
“I have a fantastic memory of this club, of the people that are still working there. I’m a supporter of Chelsea, because I spent two years there.”
Chelsea are currently conducting a search for a new head coach, following the decision to sack Graham Potter. Ancelotti has been tentatively linked with the role, but ruled out a return to Chelsea and has backed interim boss Frank Lampard to turn results around.
“Will I go back? No, I hope Lampard will be able to do a fantastic job with them… Lampard has been a great player who I coached for two years.
“He knows these kind of games well and how to prepare his team. He has been here for a week, but he will do well in the time he is at Chelsea.”
“We have to respect the team and the club, they have very good players and even if they are not in a good moment they have great motivation and will bring out the best. It’s a squad of a very high level.
“The team is excited and motivated to return to the Champions League and experience another magical night at the Bernabeu. We have to take advantage of the fact that we play the first game at home.”