Match Preview

Maurizio Sarri discusses Jorginho's role and need for patience

Maurizio Sarri has explained the ways in which his team can improve, particularly from an attacking perspective, ahead of tomorrow’s game against Huddersfield.

The Blues will be aiming to quickly get back to winning ways following our midweek defeat to Bournemouth, a second consecutive Premier League reverse.

We have failed to score in both of those games, against the Cherries and Arsenal, and speaking at his pre-match press conference this afternoon, Sarri spoke about what he wants from his team going forward.

‘I think my football is about co-operation so I have to speak to my players and involve them in my football more than we are doing at the moment. Now, we have the mentality for during the match but we have to improve in our reaction and in the offensive phase. We have a lot of individual players so it’s not easy to change in four or five months. In the last match we reacted very well in the first half, but then we closed spaces ourselves because we stayed too tight with the three offensive players so it was easy for the defenders to defend against us. Sometimes we have to stay high and wide, we have to go inside to receive the ball, not stay inside.

‘Now we have some problems to score and we are working on this. The reason is [against Bournemouth] we played with four or five players with their backs to the opposition goal. We have to go there to receive the ball, we need to receive the ball on the run, not receive it there with our backs to goal, so we have to improve in this. But it’s not a big problem, it’s a tactical problem, and I like it very much when I can speak to my players about tactical problems. I don’t like it when I have to speak about mental problems.

‘They were used to playing counter attacks so they could drive the ball, now we have to change but it’s a long way. I’m trying to change the mentality. I want to be in control of the match. I want to score goals and have the right reaction if we concede. We were in control of the match for 45 minutes and then after two minutes of the second half we conceded a goal. We have to start again from kick-off and play again. We only have to play.’

The Italian discussed his reluctance to change tactically at present


 

Sarri was asked if he feels Jorginho has adapted to the Premier League

‘It depends what you want from Jorginho. If you want the last pass then he hasn’t adapted. He’s able to move the ball but Jorginho usually plays 40 or 45 metres from the opposition goal so it’s impossible for him to do the last pass, Jorginho is very good for another job.’

He also spoke about Eden Hazard

‘I think he’s changing. He was used to playing as an individual player, now he has to play in a co-operative way. It’s not easy for him but I can see now he’s more available to playing in this way.

‘Of course he needs to improve, that’s normal. He’s fantastic from the technical point of view and I think he can do more tactically. But at the moment it’s not easy for a striker to play in this team because we have a lot of individual players like Hazard, Willian and Pedro. So it’s not easy for the striker to do the right moment at the right time. In the last match if we’d scored before the opponents it would have been very different.’

 

Gonzalo Higuain has started our last two matches, and Sarri hopes the striker will be fully up to speed soon

‘I think at the moment he’s not at the top physically because in the last 45 days he played few matches, firstly because of his back and then he was involved in the market, so he needs to improve because he’s able to accelerate more than now. Then physically he will be useful for us immediately.’

Sarri also had a message for the fans

‘As I said in the press conference after the Bournemouth game, first of all we have to say sorry because the result was a disaster so I can understand them very well.

‘They have to be patient with us at the moment because we are trying to do something great and it’s not easy. We have to work, we have to improve. We will lose matches but we are trying to do our best.’


 

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