CHELSEA boss Maurizio Sarri has played down his side’s drubbing of Huddersfield Town by reassuring them the best is yet to come.
The Blues cruised to a 3-0 win at Huddersfield thanks to goals from N’Golo Kante, Jorginho and Pedro.
Kante opened the scoring deep into the first half with a left-footed volley, before Jorginho doubled the lead with a cooly slotted penalty after Marcos Alonso was brought down inside the box.
Spanish winger Pedro completed the rout in the final ten minutes with a cheeky chip across goal.
Speaking after the game, the Italian was pleased with how his side got the job done against a ‘physical’ Huddersfield line-up.
“It depends on me and the players. I don’t know. Hopefully two months and not three”
But Sarri believes he is not even close to getting the best out of his side.
“I have to know the characteristics of the players because I think I don’t want to do another Naples,” he said.
“I want to do a good Chelsea. I have to respect the characteristics of the players, I have to adapt myself to the characteristics of the championship and of the players, so now I am studying my players.”
When asked how long it could take for his players to be at their best, Sarri surprised many with his response.
“It depends on me and the players. I don’t know. Hopefully two months and not three,” he said.
The ex-banker is known for employing a rigid 4-3-3 system and has so far demonstrated his enthusiasm to bring that system to Stamford Bridge.
Having struggled to adapt during last Sunday’s Community Shield loss to Man City, it seems Sarri has accepted he will need to be more flexible with his new squad.
While today’s result will be sure to relieve any original doubts over this new look Chelsea side, Sarri was keen to play down the flattering score line.
He said: “The game was more difficult than the result. 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.
“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.”
Sarri surprised many by pushing Kante out of his favoured defensive midfield role, and over to the right hand side of the three central midfielders.
The Frenchman was replaced in the hole by new signing Jorginho, who has followed his manager from Napoli to south-west London.
And while Sarri’s daring move paid off in the return of a goal apiece, his side also dominated the midfield with ease.
Playing the key anchor role, Jorginho boasted the highest passing success rate on the whole pitch (93.9%), while also making the most clearances (five).
The performance of Ross Barkley will be sure to please his new manager as well.
The ex-Everton man put in an impressive shift before being replaced by fellow Englishman Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Chelsea will look to build on their winning start when they host Arsenal next Saturday (5:30pm KO).