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'Dreamer' Sarri refuses to change despite pressure mounting on Chelsea boss

2:48 PM GMT 01/02/2019
Maurizio Sarri Chelsea 2018-19
The Blues have lost back-to-back Premier League games and dropped out of the top four, but the Italian will not alter his approach

Maurizio Sarri has no plans to tinker with his tactics at Chelsea despite suffering back-to-back Premier League defeats.

Bournemouth inflicted upon the Blues their heaviest Premier League defeat for 22 years in mid-week when they lost 4-0 at the Vitality Stadium.

The result saw them tumble out of the Champions League places, as Arsenal - who beat them 2-0 in mid-January - jumped into fourth.

Sarri's side will aim to return to winning ways when they host bottom club Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

But Chelsea fans should not expect a change from their cautious approach which sees the Carabao Cup finalists retain the ball for long periods before looking to carve their opponents open.

“Why [should I change]? First of all, I want to do Plan A very well. I don't want to change some things that, at the moment, don't work very well," he told reporters.

"First of all, I want to see my football played very well. Then we can go and change something.”

The ex-Napoli boss has cited Pep Guardiola's philosophy at Barcelona as the justification behind sticking with what he knows.

“Of course [I won't change]," the Italian added. "Because everybody, 10 years ago, knew very well Barcelona, and Barcelona won everything because they played their football very well.

"So, first of all, I want to play my football very well. Then I can change.”

The Chelsea boss also feels he deserves time to turn things around, much in the same way Tottenham and Liverpool have kept faith with Mauricio Pochettino and Jurgen Klopp - who are now fighting for the title.

“I want to remember that, in the first season, Tottenham and Liverpool were in the middle of the table," Sarri explained.

"The situation in England is very clear. There are three teams above the others. In one, the coach arrived five years ago, one four years ago, and in the other three years ago. So the situation is very clear. English football is in the hands of these teams.

"They had a plan and were really passionate. So we need to change the mentality and go on. The situation for me is really clear.”

The successive losses means Chelsea have only won three of their last seven top-flight matches, with former defender Graeme Le Saux urging the coach to change his approach .

Asked if he has had assurances from the trigger-happy Chelsea hierarchy, he added: “I don't mind, because I am a dreamer. I want to play my football. But if I arrived here starting in a professional team, it's because I am a dreamer.”

Sarri arrived in England with a wealth of managerial experience and fresh from guiding Napoli into the Champions League in each of his three seasons in charge, twice finishing as runners-up to champions Juventus in Serie A.

His appointment was greeted with a degree of scepticism given his failure to win a major trophy and Sarri admits the job has been tougher than he originally envisaged.

“Probably yes, but I knew very well that it would be very difficult. Very difficult because here the level is very high.

"It's very difficult because this team played another football. It's very difficult because this team won with another football. So it's really very difficult.

"But we can do it, I think. We can improve, we can change the mentality, we can play our football. It's not easy.”