Essien backing Ancelotti
Michael Essien has voiced support for Carlo Ancelotti as Chelsea look to shrug off their recent dip in form.
Last Updated: 02/01/11 1:07pm
Michael Essien has voiced his support of manager Carlo Ancelotti as Chelsea look to shrug off their recent dip in form.
The reigning champions host Aston Villa on Sunday having secured their first win in seven Premier League matches at home to Bolton in midweek.
Their poor run of results has seen the Blues slip to fifth in the table, two points adrift of nearest rivals Tottenham, but Ghana midfielder Essien feels there is no-one better to help them overcome the rough patch than Ancelotti.
"Carlo is a great coach," Essien told the Sunday Mirror.
"He's always with his players, giving us advice. He is brilliant in telling us what to do on the pitch.
"We always know he means business. It makes it so much easier for us.
"And he's a lovely person, very friendly. He has a charisma.
"When the manager is closer to the players, like Carlo is, it makes it a lot easier for players to take all the criticism. It makes it easier to go out and work really hard and get the results."
Meanwhile, Essien's fellow midfielder Florent Malouda admits Chelsea cannot afford any more mistakes if they want to keep their title defence on track.
He told the Sunday People: "We are not playing well and are nowhere near the level we were at last season.
"I believe we have a chance to win the league still but we cannot make any more mistakes.
"To concede any more distance to our rivals is going to make it dangerous for us to claw back the gap in points."