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Sarri ponders Chelsea’s mental strength following Leicester loss

Britain Soccer Premier League

Chelsea’s team manager Maurizio Sarri gives instructions to Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, right, during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

AP

Dreams of competing for this season’s Premier League title have gone for Chelsea, but even worse is the uncertainty felt by Maurizio Sarri over the mental strength of his team.

[ MORE: Rooney explains Mourinho’s downfall, backs “clever” Solskjaer ]

Following Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Leicester City, Sarri revealed that his side has perhaps struggled to rebound from seeing it’s 12-game unbeaten start snapped last month (losses in three of their last six league games), and on Saturday failed to respond to in-game adversity in the best of ways — quotes from the Independent:

“The physical performance, I don’t know the numbers today, but in the match against Bournemouth 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. Today 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.”

Sarri went so far as to say he’ll consider enlisting the help of a sports psychologist to help his players respond more positively to future struggles. It’s a tactic with which he’s got plenty of experience, but isn’t something currently happening at the club.
“Not at the moment, because it’s not easy. 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.”

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