Maurizio Sarri admitted he is becoming used to criticism from his own club’s supporters after Chelsea rallied from a goal down to clinch a dramatic win at Cardiff City.
Having lost 2-0 at Everton prior to the international break, Chelsea appeared set to suffer a second successive away defeat in the Premier League following Victor Camarasa’s goal early in the second half.
However, Cesar Azpilicueta headed in an equaliser – albeit replays showed the defender was in an offside position – before Ruben Loftus-Cheek grabbed a winner in additional time, nodding in Willian’s cross.
Some visiting fans had vented their frustration before the late turnaround, including calls for Sarri to lose his job, but the Italian is only concerned with how such comments affect his players.
“I can understand it very well. I have been on the pitch for the last 45 years, so I know the reaction of the fans,” the former Napoli boss told the media.
“I was really disappointed for my players, because they were fighting. Probably, it was better to wait until the end of the match.
“But, for me, it’s not a big problem. Of course I can understand. Unfortunately, in the last period, I am getting used to this. Unfortunately. I have to work just in order to change their opinion.”
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 31, 2019
Sarri also made clear how he is determined to win over his critics, adding: “I think that we only need to win matches. If you win matches, the fans will be happy.
“Of course, we need to improve and play better. But sometimes, during the season, you need to win matches like this.
“We lost in Everton after our best first half of the season, playing very good football, but ended up losing the match. Today we started very badly but, in the end, we won.
“Probably with a bit of luck, but, for sure, there was a bit of unluckiness at Everton.”
Chelsea – who now sit one point behind fourth-placed Manchester United in the table – started with Eden Hazard and N’Golo Kante on the bench in the Welsh capital, though the former provided a much-needed spark after coming on for Pedro in the 53rd minute.
“I know very well that Kante is a very important player for us, that Hazard is a very important player for us,” Sarri said. “But I know very well that they cannot play 75 matches in a season. So, sometimes, you have to decide.
“It’s not easy, because you have to choose the right moment and you don’t know if it’s the right moment or not. You have to decide.”
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