CHELSEA manager Maurizio Sarri has admitted it could take months for his new team to properly gel after the Blues’ 3-0 win at Huddersfield.
Goals from N’Golo Kante and Pedro came either side of a Jorginho penalty in Sarri’s first Premier League game in charge of his new club.
While the scoreline suggests that the victory came in a very one-sided contest, the new boss suggested otherwise.
“The game was more difficult than the result,” said Sarri after the game at the John Smith’s Stadium.
“If you see the result you think it was a very easy match but in the first half it was very difficult against physical opponents.
“The game was more difficult than the result”
“We are not a physical team so for 20 minutes we were in trouble but we did very well.
“In this moment we are not at the top of our potential but we had the capacity to suffer for 20 minutes in the first half.”
After replacing former boss Antonio Conte late on in the summer, Sarri has not had as much time to work with this players as he would like.
That, coupled with the fact that several players have only recently arrived back at the club after their World Cup exertions, means that preparations have not be perfect.
After the game, Sarri was quizzed about the length of time he thinks it will take for his squad to be up to the level that he requires.
“It depends on me and the players. I don’t know,” he replied.
“The situation until now has been very difficult. On Monday four players from the World Cup arrived.
“And then on Tuesday another two, so it’s not been easy for me at the moment. Hopefully two months and not three.”
Chelsea still started the game with several players who featured in the World Cup.
Midfield general Kante, who won the tournament with France, made the starting line up although fellow countryman Olivier Giroud did not make it from the substitutes bench.
Star man Eden Hazard, who reached the semi-final with Belgium, made a late appearance when he replaced Willian, who played for Brazil in Russia.
Huddersfield manager David Wagner was pleased enough with the performance of his team but admitted Chelsea’s finishing was the difference.
“I think Chelsea were very clinical,” he said. “They had four or five chances and scored three. We started very well in the first half. We pressed them high and the players did very well.
“We had a very good opportunity at 1-0 where Steve Mounie hits the post and instead of being a goal up we were a goal down. And then just before half-time we made a tactical mistake to concede a penalty.”