PERTH, Australia: Chelsea players have backed new manager Maurizio Sarri’s plan for a more fluid and attacking brand of football starting with Monday’s pre-season friendly against Perth Glory in Australia.
Sarri, who was appointed on a three-year deal following Antonio Conte’s sacking last week, said he didn’t know what to expect from his new side in their first outing under him.
“We started only four days ago. So I hope to do the best. But I don’t know how is our best at the moment,” Sarri told reporters in Perth on Friday.
Sarri has vowed to bring flowing football to Chelsea, and that’s music to the ears of Spanish international midfielder Cesc Fabregas.
“It’s a way of football that I believe in, that I really like, that I grew up in this system,” Fabregas said.
“For the type of player like myself, we can take a lot of advantage.”
Fabregas, who is in Australia along with David Luiz, Pedro and new signing Jorginho, made a plea for Belgian midfield star Eden Hazard to stay at Stamford Bridge.
“I think he’s our best player,” Fabregas said.
“We are a top club, we want to be a top team, we want to win things, and for that you need your best players. Eden is one of them.
“He’s a player that we all love to play with, especially me. For us, he’s our most important player.
“Everyone loves him — the fans, the club, the players, and we need him. He knows that.”
Chelsea’s Spanish defender Marcos Alonso said the squad will be keen to make an early impression on Sarri in the side’s first pre-season match of the year.
“We have just started with the new manager and it will be a good test to see how we are and to keep learning things and improving with the new manager,” Alonso told reporters.
“We will try to start playing how the manager wants, for sure.
“It’s going to be our first game of the pre-season and of course we’ll try to play a good game to show the fans.”
It is the Premier League’s club’s first visit to Perth since 1974, and more than 45,000 fans are expected for the game at Optus Stadium. —AFP