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Sarri still looking for mental sharpness, consistency on the pitch from Chelsea

Still plenty of room for improvement from the Blues

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - Carabao Cup: Semi-Final First Leg Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Chelsea’s weak and inconsistent mentality has become one of Sarri’s favorite themes to hammer home in press conferences, and this week was no different despite the 2-1 win over Newcastle last weekend.

But while Chelsea reacted well to the Magpies’ equalizer in that one — instead of collapsing like in a few other matches this season — Sarri lamented the situation that allowed the visitors to equalize in the first place. Chelsea scored early (which isn’t all that common these days either), but then noticeably eased off instead of putting the game to bed early and making it easy for ourselves.

“I know very well where we started. And I know very well where I want to go. And I know very well that we need to improve a lot. A lot from the tactical point of view, mentally. We had problems with reactions to difficulties in the beginning.

”Now, for the third time, we reacted very well to a difficulty — after Watford, Tottenham and Newcastle — after their goal. Now we have to show we can react from a positive situation. In the last matches, when we scored, we lowered the application and attention. So now we have to work just to avoid this.”

Sarri, who ruled out any drastic tactical changes — “we are not ready to change at the moment”— is hoping that with improved mentality (and maybe a signing or two, like a backup for Jorginho and a new striker?), Chelsea can avoid a second-half season collapse similar to what Conte’s Chelsea experienced last year.

“At the moment, the numbers are really very similar [to last year. But] in the last part of last season, Chelsea didn’t do very well. So we have the possibility to improve on that. But I think it’s very important to improve from the starting condition of this year. Not in the last year. I wasn’t involved last season, but I am now.”

-Maurizio Sarri; source: ESPN

Let’s see if Sarri’s Chelsea can indeed do better than Conte’s in the months ahead.

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