It’s a different measurement when you play these teams
Maurizio Sarri makes his first ever visit to Turf Moor tomorrow as manager of Chelsea having seen his much changed team win in the Europa League on Thursday.
He made a number of changes for that game against BATE Borisov and will do likewise for the game against us. “I think we need to change six or seven players for Sunday,” he said. “It’s very difficult in England to play in Europe. In the Champions League, Liverpool had to play against Napoli after two matches against Chelsea. Man United had to play against Juventus three days after the match against us at Stamford Bridge. We have to play 65 hours after the BATE match, so it’s very difficult for an English team to be competitive in Europe.”
Looking forward to our game, he added: “I think the game against Burnley will be very difficult because last season I saw a lot of Burnley’s home matches and so I know very well it will be a difficult match, especially there.”
He’s delighted to see his midfielders getting on the scoresheet but he wants to improve things defensively. They conceded a late goal on Thursday and he said of that: “I think we could have done better in the last twenty minutes because we only needed to move the ball and take up positions. We conceded space to the opponents and in the end we conceded a very stupid goal.
“I didn’t like it because it’s very dangerous if you make the same mistakes against a high level opponent, like Liverpool and Manchester United, so we need to control the match better, especially when we have the advantage. Usually the winner (of the league) is the team who concedes the least number of goals in Italy. I don’t know about here, but I think it’s the same, so we have to improve the defensive phase.”
Chelsea are one of the top six clubs in the league, one of the super powers as Sean Dyche would put it. He saw us beat Chelsea last season and he said yesterday: “The ongoing challenge is how close we can get to these bigger teams. That’s not a negative statement, but we’ve been underdogs many, many times and we have to use that wisely.
“We know they are good players, but alongside that we believe in developing a side to become very good players and I absolutely believe in what we do and so do my players. We’ve shown in the past and on numerous occasions that we can earn wins off these teams. It’s just that statistically it’s more difficult, but there is a badge of honour when you take points off these teams.
“The main thing is reminding the players about the level of our performance and how important that is. Performances over a season will pay you back and we’ve been a bit up and down with that, even during games, so consistency is what we are looking for and we’re getting back towards that.”
Steven Defour returned to Premier League action for the Manchester City game and now, one week on, Robbie Brady is back in contention. “Players getting fit can only help and Robbie is back in the thinking,” Dyche added.
“The big thing for me was him getting the 90 minutes in, for reassurance, as much as anything, and he’s had his second 90 minutes this week and another really good week’s training. That’s three weeks now of constant training and played and that’s a good place to be.
“He’s still got to get his match fitness, but the main thing is he and Steven are back playing and Ben Gibson and Nick Pope are going nicely, so for the first time in a while, we are nearly with a clean bill of health, other than Wardy, who has had a clear out in his knee.”Follow UpTheClarets:
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