Maurizio Sarri contemplates areas for improvement, praises Ruben Loftus-Cheek and rates Everton...
Maurizio Sarri believes his team have found stability at one end of the pitch and now need to do so at the other.
In our past seven matches in all competitions we have conceded just two goals, and one of those was Wolves’ only on-target attempt of the match last weekend. Sarri has been pleased with how things have been going at the back of late, but now he wants to see our attacking game maintain the high standards we saw in Kiev midweek.
‘We are looking more consistent in terms of defensive solidity, first of all,’ Sarri said. ‘We are conceding less than before. In this moment the most important thing for us is to be solid.
‘We are more consistent with our results, but not at the moment with our performances, especially in the offensive phase. Sometimes we have played with very good quality in the offensive phase, sometimes not. Now we need to start in the offensive phase playing every match with the same ideas.
‘At the moment we are not able to do this, because sometimes we are without movement without the ball, sometimes we didn’t attack balls in the box very well, and sometimes we didn’t attack spaces behind the line of the opponent very well. We need to have consistency in this.’
One man who can add physicality, speed and dribbling ability to our attack is Ruben Loftus-Cheek. He enjoyed a fine game against Dynamo Kiev and even more significantly completed it having struggled with a back issue.
‘He is improving,’ Sarri said of the 23-year-old.
‘The most important thing in my opinion is that it has been a very difficult season, because he had problems two or three times in the same season.
‘Now fortunately he is able to train with continuity, and he is improving a lot in the last month. He played a very good match [against Dynamo Kiev] and I am really very happy because he was able to play for 90 minutes. That’s very important for him.’
Sarri has also looked forward to tomorrow’s trip to Everton, when he hopes to have Gonzalo Higuain available again after illness. The Argentinean didn’t travel to Eastern Europe.
‘Higuain had a strong stomach ache with fever. It’s not a serious problem. I think he will be able to play, but I don’t know in what condition.
‘We have to play a very important match, and a very difficult match. In my opinion after the big six Everton are the best team in the league in technical quality.’