Carlo refutes age concerns

Italian tactician happy keeping experienced campaigners

Ancelotti: Backing experienced campaigners

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Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has refuted claims his aging squad are fast becoming past their sell by date.

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Although The Blues started the season in blistering fashion they have cooled off significantly over Christmas and have struggled to return to top form.

It has been suggested that with the likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba the wrong side of 30 that Ancelotti's squad could require an overhaul.

However, the vastly-experienced Italian tactician is refusing to press the panic button, insisting he wants to retain his experienced campaigners.

Ancelotti believes there are ready-made replacements at Stamford Bridge in the shape of Branislav Ivanovic, Ramires, Josh McEachran and Daniel Sturridge.

Concerns

"Do you know what is the oldest team in the world? Inter Milan - 29.6 years average.

"Another question: who was the winner of the Champions League last year? We are not the oldest because the oldest is Inter.

"If you mention Terry, Lampard and Drogba, I would like to continue to have this kind of player," Ancelotti said.

"We can mention Ivanovic, we can mention Ramires, we can mention Sturridge, we can mention McEachran.

"They are our young players, they are improving and growing in this club."

Lampard

Meanwhile, Ancelotti believes the club are starting to see the best of Lampard, who missed most of the first half of the season with a hernia injury.

"We were without him for three months and we knew it was very important to have him," he continued.

"He came back from the injury very well and is showing a good condition.

"Surely he can have a lot of seasons to come because he is fit and very professional."