Sarri on his future, pressure on Hudson-Odoi and whether Chelsea players have too much power

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri spoke about a number of issues at a media conference ahead of game against Dynamo Kiev. Here’s some of what the Italian had to say.

On his team selection

“We are lucky we have no injuries. Of course we have some players who are very tired because the last week was really very hard for us.

“We need to consider the situation and I think we need to rest some players.”

On whether Chelsea’s improvement is because of a tactical change

“No, tactically we changed only the line of pressing sometimes. I think we are trying to play in the same way.

“Probably (the change is) mentally. I think the final was really very important for us because we lost 6-0 in Manchester two weeks before and then in the final we were able to play at the same level as them.

“So I think that was really very important for our minds, for our confidence.”

On whether players respect him more after the Kepa saga

“They respected me before. It wasn’t a problem for me, the dressing room.

“We had some problems with the mentality because we did very badly in two or three matches, but not the dressing room.”

On whether Chelsea’s players have too much power and are hard to manage

“Not at all. Not in my opinion, no. Of course the situation is not easy because we are Chelsea and we need to win something, but the players are not very difficult to manage at all.”

On the players being tired

“We changed six players I think between the Arsenal match and the Fulham match, so we had a very good rotation.

“But probably we were tired. Some players physically – and all the team mentally.”

On his own future

“It’s not a big problem. The problem are the results. All the rest is not important in this moment.

“I want to win for the team, for the club, not me. So it’s not important.

“Confident? I was confident in the past and I am confident now. But I want to think only of our performances and results.

“I am confident, otherwise I am not able to do my work. I have to think this (that he will keep his job) if I want to do my job in the best way.”

On Italian media reports that he is planning for next season

“No, we were talking about pre-season. We were trying to organise in the best way the next pre-season.”

On whether winning the Europa League is the most likely way back to the Champions League

“I think we can gain a spot in the Champions League (via) the Premier League. We are fighting and we are only two points away at the moment and have to play one match more.

“But the Europa League is a very important competition – it’s the second competition in Europe and a very important trophy.

“Then there is a spot for the next Champions League, so it’s a very important target for us.”

On facing Dynamo

“I think my team is good enough to win at home and away. We know the two matches will be very difficult – they are a physical team, a young team.

“They are very dangerous in counter-attacks because they have two wingers who are very fast.

“So we need two very good performances. But out target is to play the same football at home and away.”

On whether English teams are at a disadvantage in Europe

“In this moment we played six, seven, eight matches more than the other European teams.

“Eight matches means two months with a match during the week – two months without training.

“So I think for an English team it is very difficult to be competitive in Europe in March and April – it’s really very difficult.

“Yesterday we saw Real Madrid against Ajax. Ajax didn’t play (at the weekend) in the Dutch championship and Real came from two matches against Barcelona. There is a big difference.

“I think the Premier League could do something more for the teams involved in the European competitions.

“If you play in the Europa League in Italy, after the match away you can ask to play on Monday.

“One day more to rest I think is really very important. We will play in the Premier League (against Wolves) 62 or 63 hours after the match against Kiev. I think it’s too early.”

On Callum Hudson-Odoi

“Callum is always in my mind in every match. I don’t know if tomorrow he will be on the pitch or not.

“I think you (the media) have to put less pressure on a young English player because they need to improve.

“I have never seen a player of 18 at the top, so Callum – and all the other young players in England – needs to improve.

“At this moment it is very important for him to improve and then he will be able to be at the top when he is 22 or 23.

“I think that you put too much pressure on the young English players.”