Sarri: Winning the only way to get upset Chelsea fans on our side

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The Blues boss thinks that expectations are too high from the fan base and he has urged them to be patient, as he needs more time for his magic

Maurizio Sarri admits that he needs a strong finish to the season to turn around fan opinion but remains confused about why sizable sections of Chelsea’s support have turned against him so soon. 

Chelsea will play a maximum of 12 more games between now and the end of the season, as they look to qualify for the Champions League either through a top-four finish in the Premier League or by winning the Europa League. 

However, it is clear that Sarri has a more toxic atmosphere around him from his club’s fan base than any of the other teams battling for similar aims to side’s, and he has called on fans to ease off and help their team by being more positive. 

“I know only one way: we have to win matches. We have to try to win a trophy. I know only this way,” Sarri told reporters. 

“I don’t know [why fans aren’t on my side]. Probably we did something wrong. 

“I don’t know what. Probably we have to win more matches. I don’t know. But we have the chance to take our target. We can arrive at the end of the season in the top four. We can try to take the final in the Europa League. And so, in the end, our season can become a very good season. 

“Probably our fans thought that it would be an easy season for us. In the Premier League, I think that it’s not easy. Every match is very difficult, every team is really very strong. It’s really very difficult to be in the top four in this championship. 

“As I said in every press conference. We had to face difficulties because we have some. We started very well, a bit lucky in some matches with a very great level of enthusiasm. But I knew very well that it wasn’t easy and, sooner or later, we’d have to face big difficulties. 

“Probably, in the last seasons, they were used to winning. So probably they thought that it was normal to continue to win. But it’s not normal. I think that the other teams, in the last seasons, have improved a lot from all points of view. 

“So now, the Premier League is really, really very difficult, even for a big club like Chelsea.” 

Much of the discontent with Sarri has been around his style of play, which many pundits have described as boring. The 60-year-old, by his own admission, says that his side has not picked up his football philosophy quickly.

The complaints come as Chelsea switch from counter-attacking football to a possession-based game. The issues are that Chelsea now look more vulnerable to be hit on the break, while Sarri’s predictable lineup choices have seen managers copy each other’s tactics when facing the Blues.

Part of the problem, he believes, is the lack of time he has had on the training pitch to get his ideas across and he admits that his team hasn’t grasped them yet.

“I think that, at the moment, we are not playing very well our football,” he said. “We need to improve playing our way of football.

“So we are trying to do this, but it’s not easy. It’s not easy, especially in the first season because we started to work only in the middle of July.

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“At the beginning of August, we played the first official match. Then we worked for a couple of weeks and then we started to play every three days. So it’s not easy for me to play my football. No [I won’t change], because I need to believe in what I do.

“Otherwise, for me, it’s impossible for me to pass my ideas to the players. It’s not easy for them [the players], I think. They are improving. My feeling is they are improving in being a group. They are improving in character.

“Now we need to improve in playing our football, in performances. Then the results will be a consequence. I need to work, I think. And in the first season, it was impossible to work.”

Chelsea face Brighton on Wednesday evening and then they welcome West Ham to Stamford Bridge, before their Europa League quarter-final match.

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