Belfast Telegraph

Ask the club: Sarri admits job worries after Chelsea suffer worst defeat in almost 28 years

 

Time running out: under pressure Maurizio Sarri at the Etihad yesterday
Time running out: under pressure Maurizio Sarri at the Etihad yesterday
Sergio Aguero

By David Charlesworth

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri said he feels he is "always at risk" of being sacked after watching his shell-shocked side succumb to their heaviest defeat in almost 28 years.

The pressure intensified on the Italian after Sergio Aguero hit his 11th Premier League hat-trick. Raheem Sterling's double and Ilkay Gundogan's goal wrapped up an incredible 6-0 win for Manchester City.

A miserable day at the Etihad Stadium was Chelsea's worst result since losing 7-0 to Nottingham Forest in April 1991 and comes less than two weeks after a shock 4-0 hammering at Bournemouth.

Sarri made an encouraging start to his tenure as Chelsea were unbeaten after their first 12 top-flight matches under him but the Blues have faded out of title contention and face a battle to finish in the top four.

He admitted concern at their recent displays and, when asked whether he fears for his future under notoriously impatient owner Roman Abramovich, he said: "I don't know, you have to ask the club. I am worried about my team, I am worried about the performance but my job is always at risk so I am not worried about the club. You have to ask the club.

"I didn't see my kind of football (against City). At the beginning it worked. So now we need only to understand the reasons why at the moment it isn't working. We need to understand the reasons."

Sarri added: “It is not easy. At the beginning, we played better away than at home. Now we are playing better at home than away.

“Something is changing. At the moment I am not able to see the reason but I have to work for this because my target is to play my football, not to change another football because at the moment we are playing another football.”

Sarri did not shake the hand of his opposite number Pep Guardiola at full-time but insisted he was merely eager to return to the dressing room.

He added: “I didn’t see him at the moment but of course as usual I will go to say hello to him later as usual.”

Guardiola, too, played down any speculation of a rift as he said: “I spoke with (Chelsea assistant) Gianfranco Zola. (Sarri) didn’t see me. I have a good relationship with him so no problem.”

The Spaniard empathises with the scrutiny Sarri is under and believes the former Napoli coach needs time to implement his ideas.

Guardiola added: “People don’t understand how difficult the first year can be. Mine was difficult too. People expect with a new manager and buying players it comes immediately, but it needs time.”

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