Under-fire Sarri insists he can avoid Chelsea axe, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Under-fire Sarri insists he can avoid Chelsea axe

Maurizio Sarri insisted he expects to avoid being sacked as Chelsea manager if his troubled side can put together a sustained winning run.

Reports yesterday claimed Sarri will be axed if Chelsea are beaten in any of their next three matches after losing the backing of the club's hierarchy.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is not renowned for his patience and Monday's limp FA Cup fifth-round defeat by Manchester United increased speculation that Sarri is on the brink of being dismissed.

Sarri faces a crucial seven days as Chelsea take a slender 2-1 advantage into tomorrow morning's (Singapore time) Europa League last-32, second-leg clash against Malmo before facing Manchester City in the League Cup final at Wembley on Monday.

Those games are followed by a crucial London Derby against Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League next Thursday, a match Chelsea can't afford to lose as they sit outside the top four.

Acknowledging his perilous position can only be improved by a rapid reversal of fortunes, Sarri said: "We need to win three, four matches in a row. It's the only solution... We can have only good performances and results."

Sarri's hopes of getting Chelsea back to the form that saw them start the season with an 18-match unbeaten run are being hampered by the team's hectic schedule.

"We're trying to solve our problems. It's not easy because we have no time," he said.

"We're trying to talk with the players, trying to avoid some mistakes by video. It's not easy, because we have to play every three days, so we have no time."

The Italian still refuses to compromise on his 4-3-3 system and possession-based "Sarri-ball" style.

"The system is a false problem. I know very well that when we lose, I have to put a striker on the pitch. When we win, I have to put a defender on the pitch. But I want to see football in another way," he said. - AFP