Maurizio Sarri has revealed he spoke to Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia about the Kepa Arrizabalaga situation after the League Cup final, but insisted he is not feeling any pressure about his job.
The goalkeeper was fined by the club after appearing to refuse to go off at the end of the penalty shoot-out defeat to Manchester City, and although that initially seemed to undermine the manager, the performance has actually strengthened his position. Both players and officials were encouraged by the nature of the performance.
“I spoke with Marina this week, before the final, just for good luck,” Sarri revealed.
“I spoke to Marina after the match about the Kepa situation. My relationship with the club is like before.”
“We spoke about the Kepa reaction, only about this.”
Sarri also insisted there is now no issue with the goalkeeper, even though he earlier refused to clarify whether he has decided to start the 23-year-old against Tottenham Hotspur.
“The goalkeeper is not a problem. He made a big mistake, but he is really a very nice boy. There is only one difficult: the results.
“The atmosphere in the training ground is now really very good. The application of the players is better than before. The problem now is to have results with consistency.”
Sarri said the challenge against Spurs will be to play with the same intensity as Chelsea did against City at Wembley.
“We know the situation very well. It’s difficult to play every three days with the same mental intensity. It’s not easy because, usually, we talk about the physical condition. That it is very difficult to play physically every three days. But the big problem is mentally. To arrive at every match with the same level of application and determination is really very difficult.
“We have to do it tomorrow because this is a very important match. A very difficult match. They are doing really very well away. It’s not easy to play with the same level of application as in the last match because, mentally, we spent a lot in the match on Sunday.”
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