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Chelsea

Sarri requires two months to get Chelsea message across

15:37 SAST 2018/08/25
Maurizio Sarri Chelsea ICC 2018
The new man in charge at Stamford Bridge has overseen a bright start to the season, but admits it could be October before his team is really firing

Maurizio Sarri admits he will need another two months to get his message across at Chelsea, despite overseeing a bright start to the season.

The enigmatic Italian inherited the managerial reins at Stamford Bridge over the summer from fellow countryman Antonio Conte.

He was expected to bring a more expansive brand of football with him to west London, having showcased those qualities in a previous post at Napoli.

‘Sarri-ball’ is already in motion at Chelsea, with a new system being favoured, but the man at the helm believes it could be October before everyone is fully adjusted to his methods.

He told Sky Sports after collecting six points from meetings with Huddersfield and Arsenal: "They are working well, trying to improve, working on the mistakes. We need to improve, and we want to reach our 100 per cent as soon as possible.

"I think it's easier for the offensive players. It's usually three months, but my feeling is in this team there are a lot of intelligent players so I hope only two months.

"It takes defenders longer because I want to defend by looking only at the ball, and some players have played for 10 years looking at the man, so you have to change the way of thinking of this player, and it's not very easy.

"For a defender who is 18, it is easier. For a defender who is 30, it is more difficult."

Sarri will be looking to make it three wins from three in the Premier League on Sunday when Chelsea head to Newcastle.

Eden Hazard could be handed a first start of the season in that contest, with the Belgian a perfect addition to the tactical system being implemented by a demanding coach.

Sarri added on his footballing philosophy: "I like it when the team is in control of the match, I like very much the ball possession, I like to play in the other half.

"Ball possession, but at a very high speed. Mental speed, first of all, not only ball possession in my half. Maybe I've learned it from a lot of lost matches, I think!

"I tried to play as a five-man defence six years ago, but for me it is impossible. Because if I want to press in the other half, if I want to look only at the ball with five defenders, I lose immediately the metres."