Maurizio Sarri believes changing the mentality of his Chelsea squad will help remove the inconsistencies that have plagued the Blues in recent months.
Sarri went 18 games unbeaten in all competitions after taking control at Stamford Bridge in July, yet since late November their form in the Premier League has dipped.
Defeats to Wolves, Leicester City and Bournemouth – as well as a home stalemate with struggling Southampton – have them looking over their shoulder in fourth place, with Chelsea sitting 11 points behind leaders Liverpool, having played a game more.
The 4-0 reverse at Bournemouth on Wednesday saw Sarri lock his players in the away dressing room for 45 minutes after the final whistle, the Italian left irate by his side’s display.
He got the response he wanted as Huddersfield Town were brushed aside at home on Saturday, new signing Gonzalo Higuain netting twice in a 5-0 win.
And while the victory pleased the former Napoli boss, it only served to highlight their erratic form of late.
‘Not in the past [have I managed a team that’s so inconsistent],’ he told reporters.
‘But my target is to improve the mentality, because if we improve the mentality, I think it will be easier to arrive into every match with the right level of application and determination.
‘It is not easy, of course, and it is a long way, but we need to try to improve in mentality. In every training, in every match, but we need to improve.’
Another aspect Sarri is keen to develop is the movement off the ball, which he believes will allow Jorginho – and therefore Chelsea – to flourish.
He added: ‘Jorginho needs movement without the ball from the other players, because he is used to playing one-touch, and it is very difficult to play one-touch without the movement of the other players.
‘So if the team, like in the first 20-25 minutes [against Huddersfield], played very well with movements without the ball, then for Jorginho it is easier, I think. In the first 25 minutes we played our football because we moved the ball very fast and very well.
‘There was good movement without the ball. We were really very dangerous. We didn’t play with our backs to the opposing goal like in the last match, with five players doing it in the last match. We attacked the spaces and so I think that we played our football.’
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