Sarri press conference: Every word from Chelsea boss on Hazard’s injury and defensive woes

Eden Hazard fit?

“I don’t know. Eden yesterday he had a large part of the training with the team. It may be he will not be ready for 90 minutes yet. It was the first part of training for a few weeks. He might be able to play for 40/45 minutes.”

From the start?

“I don’t know. I want to speak with him first.”

N’Golo Kante, how is he after the Leicester crash?

“I don’t know, I haven’t spoken with him about what happened. For him it is not very easy moment, of course. I don’t know exactly as I haven’t spoken with him about what happened at Leicester.”

Not worried about his state of mind?

“No, I am not worried because he is able to play in the same way with every mental condition so I am not worried.”

11 games unbeaten would be a record. Big moment for you?

“I don’t want to think about the record, we have to only think about the match and to gain points. The record is only a consequence of the result, of the match. I have to send the message to my players that only this match is the thing that is important. The rest is a consequence.”

Were you expecting it to go so well at first?

“No because in every experience I have had before I have been in trouble in the first two months. I thought it would be the same here. I think here I was lucky because my players were able to win without a very good level of tactical organisation.”

Have you got a named captain?

“As we have seen in the last matches, the captain is Cahill, like in the last match. When he isn’t on the pitch our captain is Azpilicueta. Our captain is Cahill.”

Have your team sorted themselves out defensively?

“No, no. In the last match against Derby they played a very good match. I think we played well in the offensive phase, many mistakes in the defensive phase.

“It is clear that we have to improve in the defensive phase. I am used in the first months to have problems like this. At Burnley I saw a very good performance defensively and three days after I saw a lot of mistakes. It means we are not a solid team at the moment with continuity, it is dangerous.”

Has Ross Barkley surprised you?

“In the first week I saw some matches of Chelsea and Everton as I wanted to see him on the pitch. He has a great technical quality, from the physical and he is improving after the injury of last season. He improved from the tactical point of view. He is becoming a very, important for this team. Not only for us but for English football as well.”

Will he be an important player for England?

“Yes. I think so.”

Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Has he improved enough to start?

“He has improved, but he needs to improve more from the tactical point of view. The rest is good. He has great physical characteristics, he is fast, solid, he has impact, great characteristics. Technically he is very good and I think if he wants to play like a midfielder he has to improve in the defensive phase. But the potential is great.”

How closely did you look at other candidates for captain?

“Cahill was the captain last season. I spoke with his teammates and they all told me he really was a very good captain.”

Will Gary Cahill and Loftus-Cheek stay?

“Ruben in October played four matches out of five. I think at the moment the situation is not for a loan, I think. Cahill, it depends on him. He played very often in the last seven or eight matches. I don’t know. It depends on him and the club. For me Cahill is very important on the pitch and out of the pitch.”

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