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Maurizio Sarri has called on his players to start matches better as the busy final few weeks of the year get underway at Wembley tomorrow.

It’s a trip to play Tottenham on our final return from international football of 2018, and our boss spoke to the media at Cobham about the necessity for his players to adopt the right mental approach for what he expects to be another tough Premier League encounter.


He started his look ahead to our latest London derby with good news on the injury front.


‘No big problems,’ Sarri started. ‘As usual after the national teams there are some little problems, some with little injuries or a little bit tired. Fortunately at the moment we have no big problems.

‘Kovacic is doing better. He had an ankle problem. Yesterday he did all the training with the team. I think he will be able to play.’

Sarri spoke about N’Golo Kante’s new deal, and also commented on the possibility of Eden Hazard signing a fresh contract


‘I don’t know the evolution of the deal for the new contract, but I think we can do it. I hope so.


‘He played the last match with the national team on Sunday, so he was with us here on Tuesday which is very important for us.’

Maurizio Sarri will come up against Tottenham for the first time as Chelsea boss


‘They play very good football. They are very dangerous in the offensive phase and in short counter-attacks. They are a technical team.


‘From a physical point of view they are very strong. They are competitive, they will fight for a Champions League position for sure. It’ll be a very difficult match. We have to be careful not to lose the ball in our half. They are very dangerous in those situations.’


Sarri analysed the situation with almost a third of the league season complete


‘At the moment in the Premier League there is a team above the others: Man City. Then there is a very good team Liverpool.


‘And then there are four or five teams who will have to fight for a Champions League position.


‘We have to work very hard to recover the gap, but at the moment the gap is still there.’


After our last game, against Everton, Sarri spoke about issues with the way we approached games. He expanded on that today


‘It’s a mental problem. In the last three matches, we had problems with our approach to the [start of the] match but not only that. We also had problems in the beginning of the second half. We have to be careful, we have to be focused on this problem.


‘In the first 15 minutes the opponents were more aggressive and determined than us. We have to approach the match in a different way in terms of application and determination.


‘It’s not a physical problem, because in the last part of the match we have done a lot. It’s not a tactical problem. It’s a mental problem. We have some difficulties entering into the match.’


With international football over for the calendar year, the fixtures now start to come thick and fast as the festive season approaches


‘It was difficult from September to now also. We played every three days and then 10 days when 14, 15 or 16 players were with their national teams. It wasn’t easy.


‘December and January will be a very difficult period we have to play every three days. Maybe the rotation of the players will be different.’


SOURCE – www.chelseafc.com


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