Sarri dismisses exaggerated speculation over his future

Maurizio Sarri has acknowledged holding talks with Chelsea in recent days but insists "the problem was not so big" as was reported in the press.

Sarri was subject to allegations he had lost authority at Stamford Bridge after goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to be substituted during Chelsea's EFL Cup final defeat to Manchester City on Sunday.

The Italian replaced Kepa with Willy Caballero for Wednesday's 2-0 win against Tottenham but later said the Spain international remains his number one.

The Wembley incident followed a run of poor results, including a 4-0 defeat at Bournemouth, a 6-0 drubbing at Manchester City and a home reverse against Manchester United in the FA Cup.

Victory over Spurs was the perfect tonic for Chelsea but Sarri insisted some of the speculation surrounding his future this week has been wide of the mark.

"It depends more on you than the club," he told reporters after the match. "I spoke to the club two or three times in the last few days, but the problem wasn't so big as you wrote.

"I don't know... maybe it wasn't the truth. I don't know. But it's not a big problem for me.

"In this job, you are under pressure every week. If you're lucky, every six months.

"It's normal if you lose two or three matches in a row that you'll be under pressure, but that's the same for every coach. Maybe more pressure at Chelsea."

Discussing his side's display at Stamford Bridge, Sarri added: "The performance in this match was really very good, but it was a performance in line with the last one [against City].

"Fortunately, the result was different. But the kind of performance was similar.

"The most important thing is that we need consistency in performances and in results. As you know very well, in this championship it's so difficult. It's not easy.

"In the last month we played two or three times against Tottenham, once against Manchester City, once against Manchester United.

"It's not easy to have consistency of results. But now we need points.

"It was really very important tonight because we are fighting for the top four. I don't know but, maybe, with this result we can involve Tottenham in this battle.

"The gap [to third-placed Tottenham] is very large, seven points, but maybe. It's not easy, of course."

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