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2.07.2007

Ballack answers to Shearer's words

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Michael Ballack has arguments to defend himself from the critics, and he assures he donesn't play thinking about it.

And we must consider that the latest in a long line of critics has been former England star Alan Shearer, who claims Michael Ballack is not showing enough effort or hunger to succeed in the Premier League.

The German captain makes no secret of his contempt for these critics, claiming he just needs some time to settle.

"I really don't care what people write or say about me," Ballack admitted. "It doesn't bother me. Shearer can say what he wants, but that's life."

"We msut remember that Chelsea are double champions and so expectations are high and the expectations grow, especially when you are slightly behind."

"Indeed, we have to live with that, especially the new players in the team. But I feel well-integrated within Chelsea FC and I am feeling completely comfortable here.

"In fact, I have found my role within the team and get sufficient acknowledgement and support from the team, especially from Mourinho. We are talking a lot together."

According to the numbers, Chelsea currently trail Manchester United by six points in the race for the Premiership title, and Ballack knows that it will be a tough task if the are to overhaul the Red devils.

"It will be really hard to catch Manchester United because they are playing constantly on a very good level," he continued. "We still have to play them at home.

"However, we know that we can't afford any more slip-ups and we have to put them under pressure whenever possible" the talented German concluded.