Ancelotti wants Drogba return

But Italian delighted with club's displays in Ivoirian's absence

Ancelotti: Pleased with display

Ancelotti: Pleased with display

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti is eagerly awaiting the return of Didier Drogba, despite Wednesday's swaggering victory over Birmingham.

The Blues returned to the top of the Premier League as a Florent Malouda header and two goals from Frank Lampard wrapped up a 3-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

Ancelotti's side were completely dominant against Birmingham, who suffered their first defeat in 16 games in all competitions, but the Italian is not resting on his laurels and is keen to welcome Drogba back to his starting XI.

The Ivory Coast striker, along with compatriot Salomon Kalou, returned from participating in the African Cup of Nations on Wednesday, but was not considered for selection against Birmingham.

Ancelotti, though, could pick Drogba at relegation-threatened Burnley on Saturday evening, telling Sky Sports: "The message is that we need Drogba back because he is a fantastic player.


"I want to thank my players, but we need Drogba back for the future.

"I don't know if he will be ready. We have to do a check tomorrow (Thursday), and also Kalou, and then we will make a decision."

He added: "Our philosophy and aims won't change - to play good football and win. We won't change. We'll maintain the same system.

"I'm happy Drogba will be here with us tomorrow morning. He had a fantastic start to the season."

The victory over Birmingham was Chelsea's fourth match in all competitions since Drogba's departure, but a 100 per cent record suggests that the star forward has not been significantly missed.

Ancelotti has obviously been delighted with his team and was especially impressed with the display against Alex McLeish's in-form Birmingham.

The former AC Milan boss said: "We showed good play for 90 minutes. It was a bit more difficult in the second half, but that is normal when you play against a good team like Birmingham.

"We had fantastic individual performances like John Terry and Malouda and Deco. It is a good moment for us."