N’Golo Kante says the Chelsea squad have responded positively to Maurizio Sarri’s criticism of them in the wake of defeats to Arsenal and Bournemouth last month.
The Italian said the squad were ‘difficult to motivate’ after suffering a 2-0 loss at the Emirates, while he kept the team locked in the dressing room for 50 minutes after their 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth – the heaviest loss since Roman Abramovich bought the club.
Kante feels there was a degree of truth in Sarri’s criticism but is confident they can produce the performances, and results, he expects on a more regular basis.
On Sarri criticising the players’ lack of motivation, Kante told RMC: ‘These are things he told us after the games against Arsenal and Bournemouth.
‘We talked to him and we try to find the right direction to achieve our goals. We try to work to avoid situations where we lose the game in the first 10 minutes or in the second half because we lack determination.’
‘Asked if there is truth in his criticism, Kante continued: ‘Of course. It’s not hard to hear, the coach is someone direct, who says exactly what he thinks. That was his feeling and he expressed it.
‘He wanted to make us understand what he was feeling about us and we worked on that. We had a good week when we won against Spurs and Sheffield. Then we lost at Bournemouth and won very well against Huddersfield, so I hope we can continue in that way.
‘We understand what Sarri wants from us and we’ll try to give our best answer. He has his idea of playing, he wants us to play an attacking style of football and we try to do it in the best way. We’re working very hard in training and we try to reproduce that in the games.
‘In some games we can see we have played very well, with an attacking style. Some games we score and some games we play very well and don’t score, but I think we are playing very good football.’