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Thursday, 21 February 2019 00:00

Under-fire Sarri insists he can avoid Chelsea axe

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

Reports on Wednesday 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 against 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 Thursday’s Europa League last 32 second-leg against Malmo before facing Manchester City in the League Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.

Those games are followed by a crucial London derby against Tottenham in the Premier League next Wednesday, 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 told reporters: “We need to win three, four matches in a row. It’s the only solution.

“I can understand very well the frustration of our fans. Because they are used to winning. Now we are in trouble, so I can understand very well.

“There isn’t another way. We can only have good performances and results.”

With Chelsea in the midst of a bad run, Sarri is fighting to save his job less than a season after arriving from Napoli.

The United loss followed hot on the heels of a humiliating 6-0 thrashing at Manchester City, which ranked as Chelsea’s heaviest defeat for 28 years, and an equally miserable 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth.

 

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