Maurizio Sarri was wary to keep his distance from his players as he prepares for the visit of Huddersfield Town this weekend.
The Blues have been left wounded after suffering their biggest defeat since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003, a 4-0 humiliation away at Bournemouth in midweek.
Pressure is mounting on Sarri and given he is adamant he will not compromise on his ‘Sarri-ball’ philosophy, he needs wins to help his case to remain in charge.
New signing Gonzalo Higuain was one of the club’s big names to fall flat against Bournemouth and the club are keen for Sarri to display an alternative approach to help grind out results.
Defeat saw them drop out of the top four at the expense of Unai Emery’s Arsenal side and Chelsea know that should the Gunners lose to Manchester City, victory over Huddersfield Town can put them back in the driving seat for a top four spot.
Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro all looked lively in drizzly conditions at the club’s training facility in Cobham and all three could be involved against the Terriers should Sarri go big on his attack.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Sarri remained bullish when quizzed on pressure and his future in the job, opting to take the opportunity to launch a defence for his tactical philosophy.
‘I don’t want to change some things that, at the moment, don’t work very well,’ he said. ‘First of all I want to see my football played very well. Then we can go and change something.
‘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 very well my football. Then I can change.
‘I want to remember that, in the first season, Tottenham and Liverpool were in the middle of the table. The situation in England is very clear. There are three teams above the others.
In one, the coach arrived five years ago, in one four years ago, and in the other three years ago. So the situation is very clear. The English football is in the hands of these teams.
‘They had a plan and were really passionate. So we need to change mentality and go on. The situation for me is really clear.’
Talented teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi, who was made to watch from the stands at Bournemouth after handing in a transfer request, was part of the training group.
He is pushing to start his first Premier League game for the club having seen his appearances limited to cup competitions.
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