Ancelotti targets quick improvement

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Carlo Ancelotti admits Chelsea will "destroy" their season if they fail to put an end quickly to their worst run of results for almost 15 years.

But the Blues boss insists that if they do so, they will emerge "stronger" from the slump that has seen them all but surrender their Barclays Premier League title.

"If you are not able to move on, you destroy the season," Ancelotti said. "If you are able to move on, you will be stronger."

One win in nine league games has left Chelsea languishing in fifth place, nine points behind unbeaten leaders Manchester United having played a game more.

The first signs of discontent among the club's fans at the crisis appeared to emerge on Friday when a pair of banners were draped opposite the club's training ground which read: "Ancelotti + Abramovich out!!!" and "None of you are fit to wear the shirt".

Having been given yet another vote of confidence by the club's billionaire owner and knowing the majority of supporters still back him, Ancelotti could afford to laugh off the mini-protest.

But he knows the disquiet will multiply if he is on the wrong end of a cup shock.

For that reason, the former AC Milan boss is not planning to make wholesale changes for the FA Cup clash with Ipswich on Sunday, although he was waiting on fitness checks on Didier Drogba, Ashley Cole and Michael Essien.

"We will play with the strongest team," said Ancelotti, who nevertheless hinted 21-year-old striker Daniel Sturridge would start up front.

"Sturridge played very well against Tottenham for the reserves, scored five goals. I think that he deserves to play in this moment."

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Tottenham Hotspur
Ipswich Town
Didier Drogba
Ashley Cole
Premier League
Manchester United
Daniel Sturridge
FA Cup
Michael Essien

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