Sarri won't call on psychologist to sharpen Chelsea

Maurizio Sarri’s previous experience of working with sports psychologists means he does not think they would solve Chelsea’s frailties.

Football clubs are “not ready” to effectively harness the work of sports psychologists, according to Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri.

The Blues went down to a surprise 1-0 home defeat against Leicester City at the weekend, where their disjointed response to Jamie Vardy’s 55th-minute goal was at odds with an earlier control of the contest.

Sarri suggested his players’ mentality was the issue, rejecting suggestions that they are not physically prepared to implement his style of football.

However, the 59-year-old Italian’s previous experiences mean he is not ready to call in a psychological specialist.

“No [we don’t have one]. Not at the moment, because it’s not easy,” he told reporters, with a Boxing Day trip to Watford next on the agenda for the Blues.

“I had a sports psychologist 15 years ago in Italy, it was really very difficult because the clubs were not ready in that moment, but I think that they are not ready also in this moment.

“The physical performance, I don’t know the numbers but in the match against Bournemouth [last week’s 1-0 EFL Cup quarter-final win], it was one of the best of the season, maybe the best in quality.

“I don’t think it’s possible for the physical conditioning to change in two minutes. [Against Leicester] we were very well for 55 minutes and two minutes after the goal we were in trouble, so I think there is another reason.

“We lost the match because the reaction after the goal was in the wrong direction, I think we had only to continue.

“We were in full control of the match. We were dangerous without conceding anything to the opponents so we had only to continue.”

Cesc Fabregas made a rare Premier League appearance from the bench during the closing stages of the Leicester defeat and Sarri suggested his plight is indicative of an overly stocked squad – especially when it comes to attacking midfielders.

“At the moment we are too many. We have 28 players and it’s impossible to use all of them. I think 25 is the right number,” the former Napoli boss added.

“We have a lot of offensive midfielders and we have only [N’Golo] Kante as a defensive midfielder, so it’s not easy now for the midfield to have the right balance.”