It's up to us, not transfers, to fix Chelsea defensive issues - Sarri

Maurizio Sarri Chelsea
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The Blues boss believes he and the players must fix their own problems and not look to the transfer window for answers

Maurizio Sarri has admitted he is not keen on adding any January signings to his Chelsea squad, saying it is his job to improve the current crop of players at the club.

Sarri has been unhappy with his side's defensive efforts despite Chelsea closing in on a joint-record of 11 Premier League games undefeated for a new manager. 

The 59-year-old thinks his squad are more than capable of achieving the club's minimum objective of a top four finish, even if he still expects more from his squad when it comes to defending.

However, he says it is his job to fix those issues and not rely on the transfer market to solve those deficiencies. 

"We defended well in Burnley then three days later we weren’t able to defend in the same way," Sarri told reporters. "It is dangerous to not have continuity, we need to improve continuity. I have to think I only have to help these players to improve.

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"It is too easy to go into the transfer market for every problem. I think we need to improve and we need to improve with these players because they can improve. I have to think to improve my players. It is my work, I think. For the market there is the club.

"I can say to the club my opinion about what I think I need but my job is to try to improve my players. No, I didn’t ask anything about it to my club at the moment because at the moment I think we can stay with these players and be competitive. Maybe not for the top but we have to try to arrive close to the top."

Derby County were unlucky to be beaten in the midweek clash ahead of Chelsea's London derby this weekend. The Blues first two scores came from own goals, while Derby boss Frank Lampard complained that Cesc Fabregas's third goal had a foul in the build up.

Chelsea were hanging on in the final minutes as Derby created numerous chances to send the game to penalties at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea ran out 3-2 winners but Sarri still thinks that his side haven't fully adapted to his defensive methods.

"I think we have the same problems [of adapting to his system as his old clubs] but the quality of the players is very high so they are able to win matches against teams with a good defensive phase," he continued.

"In the future we need to become a very solid team. If we want to be competitive and win something, then we need to be a solid team.

Maurizio Sarri Chelsea 2018-19

"If you look at the top of the table City only conceded four and Liverpool with four. It is important to be solid to be competitive. We need to improve, I think, covering the ball in the other half. We need to press in the opponents half. We need to cover immediately the lost ball.

"If I need to cover immediately the lost ball we need to have good positions over the line in the defensive line. Sometimes we are in the wrong positions like in the last matches. So it is impossible to recover the ball and not to give spaces to the opponent for the counter-attacks."

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On the attacking end, Giroud has been missing with what his manager describes as fatigue in his leg and Alvaro Morata looks set to start his fourth consecutive game on Sunday.

The Blues boss says that Hazard will be only fit for "40-45 minutes" too, as he awaits the return of Giroud for the Europa League trip to face BATE away on Thursday.

"No, I think he will be out in this match but the injury is not so serious," Sarri said. "I think he will be able to play in the next match in Belarus."