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Ancelotti will stick with striking trio

sports Updated: Feb 11, 2011 19:31 IST

AFP
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Carlo Ancelotti has pledged to stick with his out-of-form strikers as the Chelsea manager tries to revive the champions' fading title hopes.

Ancelotti has a selection conundrum at present after the British record £50 million signing of Fernando Torres from Liverpool.

The Italian responded to Torres's arrival by altering his tactics to play the Spain striker alongside Didier Drogba, with France forward Nicolas Anelka given an unfamiliar free role behind the front two.

However, that system looked completely out of sync as Liverpool clinched a 1-0 win over Chelsea Sunday, with the former Anfield idol substituted after just 66 minutes of his debut.

Ancelotti does not plan on fielding the trio every week but he is determined to make it work when he does, starting at Fulham on Monday.

"We have to use the time we have (to help them gel)," Ancelotti said on Friday.

"We will try again this week because we have some time. Step by step we will try to find the right solution to put them together.

"I think my aim as a coach is to try and find a better solution with the players we have in the squad. They are fantastic strikers and we have to do everything we can to make them play.

Someetimes I will choose one player or the other because in the future we will have important games.

"I think rotation of the players will be important and I want to use rotation in the next few games."

Ancelotti also backed Torres to rediscover the top form he showed only intermittently for Liverpool over the last year.

"We found Torres in good condition. He doesn't have a problem. Last week was obviously a busy week for him and this week he has had an international match, but he doesn't have a problem showing his quality," he said.

While Ancelotti is hopeful that Torres can spark a revival in Chelsea's fortunes following a woeful run over the last two months, he concedes the team's hopes of retaining the title are almost over unless leaders Manchester United fall to pieces.

"It is difficult to think we can come back to fight for the title," he said.

"It is better to think game by game in the Premier League. It is difficult to close the gap, we have to be honest, but the most important step now is to reach fourth place in the table and we have to fight with the other teams."

Chelsea's other major January signing, £25 million defender David Luiz, is in line to make his first start at Fulham having come off the bench against Liverpool.

Luiz has been signed to bolster Chelsea's increasingly error-prone defence and Ancelotti is confident the Brazilian will be an ideal foil for club captain John Terry.

"David is a very good defender and he has the ability to play all the positions in the back four," Ancelotti added.

"He is Brazilian so obviously he has a very good technique. He can help us build and play better from the back. He will be one of the best defenders in the world in the future."

Asked to compare Luiz to another centre-back recruited from the Portuguese league, former Blues star Ricardo Carvalho, Ancelotti talked up Luiz's superior ball-playing skills.

"It is difficult to compare him to Carvalho, they are different players," he said.

"Carvalho is fantastic man to man but David has more ability with the ball.

"With him we have more opportunity to play football from the defence."

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