Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has admitted that he is ‘not sure’ about his future at the club
Sarri is under huge pressure but he says he is planning to remain manager ‘for a long time’
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has defended his maligned tactical system and insists he has not held any talks with the club’s owner Roman Abramovich or senior director Marina Granovskaia as speculations grows that he is on the brink of being sacked by the club.
Chelsea have suffered humiliating defeats at Bournemouth, Arsenal and Manchester City of late, while they have also been beaten by Manchester United in the FA Cup.
Ahead of the Europa League return leg against Malmo on Thursday evening, Sarri said he had not been contacted by the club’s most senior personnel amid speculation that Chelsea may look to Zinedine Zidane, Laurent Blanc or Frank Lampard to replace the Italian: ‘No, not in this week.’
LAST SIX RESULTS
Feb 18: Man United H 0-2 (FA Cup)
Feb 14: Malmo A 2-0 (Europa League)
Feb 10: Man City A 0-6
Feb 2: Huddersfield H 5-0
Jan 30: Bournemouth A 0-4
Jan 27: Sheff Weds H 2-0 (FA Cup)
Sarri added: ‘I have to think that I will be the manager of Chelsea for a long time, otherwise I cannot work. I am not sure (it will work), but I have to think this. I have to work, and I want to work with a long-term target.’
Chelsea supporters made their frustrations with Sarri-ball clear on Monday night at Stamford Bridge and when the manager replaced Cesar Azpilicueta with right-back Davide Zappacosta as Chelsea trailed 2-0 against Manchester United.
Sarri, however, remains defiant: ‘The system is a false problem. I know very well that, when we lose, I have to put a striker on the pitch. When we win, I have to put a defender on the pitch. But I want to see the football in another way.
Sarri’s dedication to his style of play is emerging as a key issue for a number of players
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‘As I said in the last press conference it’s very easy: we need to win three or four matches in a row. It’s the only solution.
‘I can understand very well the frustration of our fans because they are used to winning. And now we are in trouble so I can understand it very well.
‘But there isn’t another way. We have only to have good performances and good results.
‘But I think the problem is the performance and the result against City. For that match, they [the fans] are right. Because we played very badly, very badly without mentality, without soul.
The former Napoli boss has not spoken with club chiefs since being knocked out of the FA Cup
‘I don’t agree for the last match [United] because we played a good match, especially in the first half. In the second half it was really very difficult for us because they are a physical team defending low and compact, so not easy.
Sarri also faces a nervous wait for Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Manchester City, as goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga has a hamstring problem.
Asked if the Spaniard will recover, Sarri said: ‘I hope so. I’m not sure at the moment, of course, but I hope so.’