Sarri Admits Uncertainty of Players’ Backing

Maurizio Sarri is not entirely sure if he still has the backing of his players following Chelsea’s 2-0 loss to Manchester United in the FA Cup.

The defeat to Manchester United is the latest amongst the string of bad results to have come Chelsea’s way, which has seen them lose three of their last five games in all competitions without scoring a goal.

The Italian has just six days to try and instill the belief back into his Chelsea players ahead of their Carabao Cup final against Manchester City. A game which will be crucial in determining his Chelsea future, knowing who runs the club.

And the former Napoli boss admitted he was not 100% certain if his players still backed him following the string of poor results.

“I think [the players are still with me]. Of course, I am not sure, but I think so,” Sarri said after the game.

“I think the situation with the players is really very good for the relationship, but the relationship is not so important. 

“It’s important to play, it’s important to get good results, but my relationship with my players is good at the moment.”

The Italian also aired his frustration at the lack of fight his players showed – a sentiment he has voiced in the past.

“We need all to improve because I am not able to get out of my players a very high level of aggression and determination.” 

He, however, defended his side’s performance as a whole, saying that his team were ‘unlucky’.

“I think that, with the result, we were unlucky,” he said.

“In the first half we played better than the opponent and, at the end of the first half, it was 2-0 to them. 

“Then in the second half, it was really very difficult to play because they are a really physical team and defended very low, compact. 

“So we played confused football in the second half. But, in the first half, we played well. 

“We need, of course, more aggression, more determination in the situation inside our box, and inside the opposing box. 

“Because the difference was there. We played 78 balls in the opposing goal, and United played only 16 into our box, and it was 2-0. That was the difference.”

Chelsea will look to gain back lost confidence when they square up against Malmo in the second leg of their Europa League knockout tie, after winning the first leg 2-1.