Maurizio Sarri is confident he can turn things around at Chelsea (Picture: Getty)Maurizio Sarri has urged ‘frustrated’ Chelsea supporters to be patient with the side ahead of the second leg of their Europa League last-32 clash with Malmo.
The 60-year-old is fighting for his job at Stamford Bridge after a dismal run of form since the turn of the year and reports suggest a defeat to Manchester City in this weekend’s Carabao Cup final will result in his sacking.
Chelsea assistant Gianfranco Zola is already being lined up to take over the reins as caretaker manager until the summer, with Zinedine Zidane and Frank Lampard eyed as potential long-term solutions.
A 2-1 victory over Malmo last week provided some respite for Sarri amid Chelsea’s recent struggles, but the side’s 2-0 defeat at home to Manchester United in the FA Cup piled the pressure back on the Italian.
Chelsea fans even began singing ‘f*** Sarri-ball’ in the second half at Stamford Bridge and the former Napoli manager has sent a message to disgruntled fans.
‘After Monday night it’s important for us to show character and determination tonight, to respond with the right attitude to the disappointment we felt,’ Sarri said in Chelsea’s match programme for Thursday’s second leg versus Malmo.
‘We began the game against Manchester United well, but we didn’t take our early chances and then we conceded two goals against a very compact and physical team, and we didn’t react well at all in the second half.
‘We have to be more decisive in both boxes, we didn’t show enough aggression when attacking their area or defending our own and ultimately this is where we lost the match.
Manchester United comfortably beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (Picture: Getty)‘We also need to improve our movement off the ball so we can keep moving the ball quickly when have control of possession.
‘It’s something we must keep developing as a team.
‘I understand why you are frustrated with results, and we all are. We are doing everything we can to return to winning games and all of us value the support as we work to turn it around and find the right path forward.’
Chelsea beat Malmo 2-1 in the first leg in Sweden (Picture: Getty)Sarri is confident Chelsea can bounce back from Monday’s defeat to United with strong performances against Malmo and Manchester City in the coming days.
‘This evening we have the chance to progress to the last 16 of the Europa League and we are in a strong position after the first leg in Sweden last week,’ he added.
‘It was not an easy match in Malmo, but we showed our quality and now we have to do the same at Stamford Bridge.
‘The next seven days are very important for our season, in there different competitions, and a strong performance tonight is the best way to approach this run of games.
‘After tonight, we have the Carabao Cup final to on Sunday and it will be a big occasion.
‘I’m looking forward to leading the team out at Wembley and hope we can bring the trophy home with us.’
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