Maurizio Sarri says that his Chelsea side still have a lot of work to do before the start of the new English Premier League season opener against Huddersfield Town.
The Blues boss lost 2-0 to Manchester City in his first game in charge at the club, no thanks to a brace from Sergio Aguero in Sunday’s Community Shield clash at the Wembley Stadium.
Chelsea were outplayed for much of the contest and Sarri says his side still have a lot of ground to catch up on the defending Premier League champions.
“In this moment there is a little difference – maybe not little! – between us and City,” Sarri said in his post match interview after Chelsea’s defeat in the Community Shield.
“In the first half, not too bad. In the second half there was a big difference from the physical point of view, I think. We need to work. Our pre-season until now has been a bit crazy, I think, so we have to work.
The Italian would also blame the tight pre-season schedule and absence of key figures who are still recovering from World Cup exploits, for Chelsea’s struggle on Sunday.
Chelsea were without Eden Hazard, N’golo Kante, Thibaut Courtois and Oliver Giroud.
“I arrived here three weeks ago and I’ve never seen six players, so it’s very difficult,” said Sarri.
“It depends on me, it depends on the players. I don’t know.
“Sometimes the work has been very long, sometimes not. In Naples we were with difficulties for three to four matches – but the [pre-season] started at the beginning of July in Naples.
“Some ideas [were on show] but not too much in this moment. We have the idea to press but sometimes we press in right way, sometimes not. We have the idea to be in control of the match but today we were not in control of the match.
“I think it’s a long way, we have to work. It’s not very easy. In the next week we have a friendly match [against Lyon on Tuesday] and I prefer in this moment to be on the pitch with the players only for training.”