Sarri: We slept for 25 minutes - it's difficult to understand
Maurizio Sarri cut a frustrated figure after watching his side secure three valuable points in a 2-1 win over Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge this evening.
He said: "I am really very happy with the result. I was really very happy with the performance at Tottenham. Today, we started very well for 10 minutes. After the goal, I think we thought now it's easy, but it wasn't.
"We slept for 20, 25 minutes, so at the end of the first half we were in trouble. We were better in the second half. We need to improve in the mental reaction. After our first goal something happened.
"We stopped to play for 25 minutes. We need to improve. It was really very important to get three points. It was really very important to score today. For now it's enough.
Sarri is unsure why.
"It's very difficult to understand. In the last five matches for us it really was very difficult to score. Today we scored after nine minutes, so the team thought today is very easy. We stopped to play and then we had something that keeps happening?
"No, no. We were not able to react in the right way to the difficulty. Today wasn't a difficulty. We scored after nine minutes, so we had not to face difficulty.
"But in the last match, for the first time in Watford, we reacted very well to the 1-1, after the goal in the last minute of the first half. I think, apart from the result, we reacted really very well in the last match with Tottenham. Today we had only to manage a positive situation.
"I think we need to improve our mentality. Our mentality global, I think."
Did he sense that the crowd was getting frustrated?
"No. Of course not. I was thinking only about the team [not the crowd]. My job is to try to gain points, also in a difficult situation. So my mind was there, not on other things."
Pedro and Willian scored the goals, but it was Willian's goal and speculation linking him a with a move away from the Bridge that William that became a hot topic of conversation.
"You know very well that Willian for us is really a very important player. In my opinion Willian has to stay with us.
"He is really a very important player, like Pedro. Callum Hudson-Odoi is becoming for us a really important player. The solution of today, with Eden like as a striker, we need wingers. So we need Pedro. We need Odoi. We need Willian of course. For us he's fundamental."
Sarri admitted he did not know how long Willian's contract has left to run – it's 18 months.
"I don't know anything about the Willian contract, “ said the Italian.
“But I don't know what to answer. Maybe he has 12 years of contract I don't know. I don't know the detail. You are trying to let me speak about something I don't know."
Sarri also admitted that his prized midfielder had an off-day and that he needs to get someone in to replace him if needed. "Today Jorginho was in trouble and on the bench there wasn't a player for that position. I need a player for that position, I need an option for Jorginho.
"I have no idea [how soon]. Not too much [of a worry]. [If] The club is worried? I don't know. The club knows very well my opinion. I need the player there, it depends on the club decision, I think. I cannot do anything more."