Under-pressure Maurizio Sarri maintains a run of positive results can give him a long-term future as Chelsea head coach.
Owner Roman Abramovich is not renowned for his patience and the humiliating losses to Bournemouth and Manchester City, followed by the negative reaction of the fans during Monday’s FA Cup exit to Manchester United, could result in Sarri’s departure after just seven months in the job.
Sarri‘s future may be determined by Thursday’s Europa League last-32 second leg with Malmo – they hold a 2-1 first-leg advantage – Sunday’s Carabao Cup final with City and next Wednesday’s Premier League clash with Tottenham.
“We need to win three, four matches in a row. It’s the only solution,” said Sarri, when asked if he can change fans’ views.
“I can understand very well the frustration of our fans, because they are used to winning. Now we are in trouble, so I can understand very well.
“There isn’t another way. We can only have good performances and results.”
Sarri says he has not spoken to Abramovich or director Marina Granovskaia this week.
“I have to think that I will be the manager of Chelsea for a long time, otherwise I cannot work,” he added.
“I am not sure (if I will be here for a long time), but I have to think this. I have to work and I want to work with a long-range target.
“Of course in this moment it’s very difficult to think we’re able to win three, four matches in a row. As you know very well in football everything can change in one day.
“I think we need first of all a good performance, a good result and with more confidence we are able to do anything.”
Chelsea’s congested fixture calendar makes finding solutions difficult for Sarri.
“It’s not very easy because we have no time,” Sarri added.
“We’re trying to solve our problems. It’s not easy. We’re trying to talk with the players, trying to avoid some mistakes by video.
“It’s not easy, because we have to play every three days, so on the pitch we have no time.”
The Italian’s stubborn refusal to compromise on his 4-3-3 system and possession-based style known as ‘Sarri-ball’ was ridiculed by the home supporters on Monday.
“The system is a false problem,” the 60-year-old added.
“I know very well that when we lose I have to put a striker on the pitch. When we win I have to put a defender on the pitch. But I want to see football in another way.”
Full-back Davide Zappacosta is a doubt with illness, winger Pedro with a stomach problem and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga with a hamstring injury.
Sarri is uncertain whether Kepa will be fit to play on Sunday, so Willy Caballero could be asked to deputise against his former club with a trophy at stake.