Published: Thu, November 29, 2018
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Chelsea coach to persist with Kante in unfamiliar role

Chelsea coach to persist with Kante in unfamiliar role

He described Kante - who was deployed in a more advanced role on the right of a midfield three - as "a very average player in the position he's playing in now".

Sarri then outlined Jorginho or Fabregas as his central midfield options. But their deficiencies were expertly covered up by Kante - the best defensive midfielder in the world bar none.

'I have to think about everything because Saturday we played very badly, a match without determination, but we lost one match after 110 days, so the team did well, generally.

'He lost his position.

Kante's rate of tackles and interceptions have plummeted this season as he operates higher up the pitch in Sarri's 4-3-3 system, but Sarri said that Chelsea's midfield problems against Tottenham were not rooted in tactics.

However, there is something to be said for fielding two strikers in a must-win match, as well as sticking with a winning formula.

And Sarri has now accused Kante of being too eager to help his side get back into the match against Spurs after they fell behind to Dele Alli's eighth-minute opener.

He wants to see an immediate reaction to the defeat, against PAOK and in Sunday's Premier League clash with Fulham, after discussing the Spurs performance with his players.

It's very hard for them, I think, to tell me why.

When quizzed if Kante knows his duties, Sarri said: "Maybe, maybe it's only a question of time 'But Kante has to stay near to Jorginho, especially when the ball is on the other side. I want to see we learned our lessons". "In the manager's philosophy, how he wants us to play, Jorginho is the holding midfielder or Cesc - that's a very important part of our game".

The Belgian superstar has had to contend with several slight problems in recent months and is now suffering with an ankle complaint. The target is very clear in my mind: "the target in the short period is to win something, and in the long period it's to become the best team in Europe".

Victor Moses is not in contention to make his seventh appearance of the season in all competitions when Chelsea host Chuba Akpom's PAOK in the UEFA Europa League today. "He will need another week of training and a couple of matches to be in the best physical condition".

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