Maurizio Sarri hasn’t spoken to Roman Abramovich since Manchester City mauling

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Maurizio Sarri says last Sunday’s humiliating loss at Manchester City did not prompt direct contact from Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

The Blues’ 4-0 loss at Bournemouth last month was Chelsea’s worst since September 1996, until City inflicted further embarrassment on Sarri’s side, who suffered their biggest defeat in 28 years.

Following the Etihad Stadium setback, Sarri said in an interview with an Italian broadcaster that he “never” speaks to Abramovich, an owner not renowned for his patience.

Roman Abramovich
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is not renowned for his patience (Jed Leicester/PA)

“No, not this week – not in the last three weeks,” Sarri said.

“It depends on the president, I think.

“I didn’t say never. Not very often, but not never. The interview was in Italian and in Italian I am better than you.

“I’d like to speak with somebody in the club, not necessarily the owner. I usually speak with Marina (Granovskaia, the director) and for me it’s enough.”

Eden Hazard
Chelsea were beaten 6-0 by Manchester City in their last game (Nick Potts/PA)

A 50-minute dressing room inquest followed the loss at Bournemouth on January 30, with an hour-long conversation held on Monday at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground.

Sarri has been critical of his players’ motivation, especially after the loss at Arsenal.

He insisted motivation was not the issue at City, but the problem was psychological.

He added: “In my opinion, the last game was not a problem of motivation.

“We were not able to react to the first difficulty during the match because, in the first four or five minutes, we started well.

“Then, after the first goal, we were not able to react. So the problem is different.

“But it’s always a mind problem, a mental problem, so we need to solve them.”

Chelsea face a crucial period for their season – and, potentially, Sarri’s future following his arrival as Antonio Conte’s successor last July.

The Blues face Malmo either side of Monday’s FA Cup fifth-round clash with Manchester United.

The Carabao Cup final with Manchester City follows on February 24 before a Premier League clash with Tottenham on February 27.

“We need short-term targets, and then a dream in the long-term,” the 60-year-old former Napoli boss said.

“Tomorrow is the most important. Then, on Monday, the FA Cup will be the most important.

“It’s not easy to play tomorrow after a 6-0, but we have to play and we have to play well.

“We want to win and react immediately.”

Among the targets in the near future, after beating United and Malmo, is surprising City at Wembley.

Sarri added: “On Monday, the target will be to get into the quarter-finals. Then to win the League Cup. It’s very strange to say it after a 6-0, but we want to win.”

Left-back Marcos Alonso and midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek did not travel to Sweden.

Loftus-Cheek has suffered a recurrence of his persistent back problem, but should be fit to be in contention to face United.

Sarri said Alonso has been rested and has “no physical problem”.

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