Conference Call: Hazard is a great player

Maurizio Sarri praised his team for their approach to tonight’s game against Watford, where victory was secured courtesy of two goals from Eden Hazard, who received the plaudits of his manager.

The home side had drawn level shortly after Hazard gave us the lead with his 100th goal for the club, but after being brought down by Ben Foster in the second half the Belgian converted from the spot to ensure we took the three points.

It was a deserved victory, and especially pleasing for Sarri following Saturday’s defeat to Leicester.

‘Against Leicester the mentality was good and I think we played one of the best performances of the season in the first half,’ said the Italian. ‘What was wrong was the reaction to the negative situation, but it can happen.

‘Today we did very well in our approach and the level of attention and determination was very good for 90 minutes, with continuity. So maybe in terms of quality we played better against Leicester but today we played with a great level of application and determination.’

Sarri spoke about Hazard’s all-round quality

‘Of course he’s very important for us but Messi is very important for Barcelona, Ronaldo is important for Juventus. He’s a great player, he’s able to play in every position. At the moment he’s playing as a false nine and he’s able to play there.

‘He scored two and made two or three good assists. He’s very able to open spaces for his team-mates. He can play very well in every position.’

Callum Hudson-Odoi was introduced for Pedro at the end of the first half, and Sarri explained why the youngster himself was withdrawn for the last few minutes of the game

‘He played for the first time in the Premier League this season, he played for 55 minutes very well. We had a little injury with his hamstring one week ago and 10 minutes from the end he had pain in the same point so we preferred to change. I can understand that [the fans being disappointed] but there wasn’t another solution, it was too dangerous.’

Sarri was asked if he had any response to the possibility of offensive chants coming from the away end

‘No. Because I didn’t hear anything. I think first of all I want to speak with my club. Secondly I don’t want to generalise because in 99 per cent of cases our fans are very good. In every community there are some stupid people and all together we have to fight against the stupid people, but not against the Chelsea fans.’