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Chelsea boss worried about his players’ mentality ahead of Manchester City clash: Press Conference

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri admits his Chelsea player have a problem with their mentality amid his team’s dramatic slump in form.

Sarri said: “I knew very well that sooner or later we have to face difficulties. When you change the way of playing, the way of football, you need to change the mentality. You need to change the mentality in 25 minds, so it’s not a short way. It’s very difficult.”

The Blues fall ten points behind league-leaders Manchester City, who they welcome to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

More from Sarri

Team news

At the moment we have no serious injuries. I think every player will be able to play. Of course, I have to see the last training. The match is very important, it is a very difficult match against one of the best teams in Europe. It is impossible to beat them in a long period at this moment, but anything can happen in a match.

What is going wrong at the moment?

I think we have a problem to manage the match at the moment, we have played well for 55 minutes but then in the first difficulty, we had a blackout. We were a little unlucky because the opponents only had two on target. We were not able to react.

The gulf between Chelsea and City?

I know that we started with 30 points of difference, we have to work to reduce the gap. I think we are improving, but they are improving also. I don’t know the difference at the moment. We started the season well, but we have had some difficulties in a new way of playing. It is normal, we have to work and solve it day by day and improve.

Kante

The problem is only the results. When we won, N’Golo was good, at this moment we are not winning so it is normal ‘some players are playing badly, in bad positions’ . It is normal. I have explained why Kante plays in that role.

Why the issues?

It is not easy to answer, but I have seen in the last matches we didn’t react as a team or 11 players, so it is a big problem.  We need a leader and a collective target can give us determination. In some matches, we have lacked it, like in the last match.

How do you beat City?

Against Guardiola I have lost every match, so you have to ask someone else (laughs)

Bringing the gulf together

We need to have a collective target, we need determination, at the moment they are stronger than us, but our final target is to be the best in Europe. Anything can happen and we have to believe in it.

Changing the mentality

When you are improving you have to pass these moments. I knew sooner or later we had to face difficulties. When you change the way of playing to need to change the way of mentality, of 25 minds. It is very difficult. As a result in Liverpool or Manchester, but then you can create something important. You cannot change the mentality in one day, it has to be day-by-day. We have to change the mentality, it is a long story.

Alonso or Emerson?

In the last period, he didn’t play a lot, he wasn’t in the national team. The usage is not very high for him. He played in the Premier League, but not Europa League. The national team he played just one match. He played not very well against Fulham, he played better in the first half at Wolves but had some problems in the second half. Of course, Emerson is a good option. I have to consider also some details. Without Alonso, we could have problems in set pieces. I have to consider everything.

Are you on track?

Every story is different. I thought we had problems in the first part of the season but we had enthusiasm so we were able to win games with some problems. Now we have problems. In the first period we played well, I knew the problems would arrive in November and December.

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