David Luiz says that Maurizio Sarri has the backing of the Chelsea dressing room amid rumours of discontent after recent high-profile away defeats.
The 31-year-old started in the 2-1 away win against Malmo in the Europa League on Thursday night, as the Blues got back to winning ways after a 6-0 drubbing away to Manchester City in the Premier League at the weekend.
The defeat was Chelsea’s worst in 28 years and added to growing concern that Sarri is not getting his footballing ideas across to his squad.
Luiz is, however, convinced that the Blues still have a bright future under the Italian boss and that in various team meetings over recent days and weeks, no one has stood up to say they don’t believe in him anymore.
“Yes, [we have an] amazing future,” The Brazilian said of Chelsea under Sarri. “We have had many meetings already asking that if someone doesn’t believe, they can say. Nobody said anything. It’s because everyone believes.
“The most important thing is for us to keep our philosophy, to believe in what we are doing. We did that against Malmo; we were trying to play from the beginning to the end.
“We are doing what he wants us to do and we are trying to improve. It is part of the process. We lost against maybe the best team in the world in Manchester City. They were better than us from the beginning to the end. We lost a few matches because it is part of the process.
“The teams that are at the top of the table now are ones with managers who have been there for more than three years. There is a big difference when you have already understood everything; it is much easier to play football. I think we are in the right way to still improve and become a fantastic team.
“This is normal. I have played in big clubs for many, many years. When you win it is good, but when you lose nobody is going to be happy, and the pressure is going to be there. We are working together and we work for them [the fans].
“We will try to make them happy and we will do everything we can to try to make them happy. I think we have to be positive and think about what we can do now because the past is the past – we cannot change it. We have to do things that we can do now.”
Malmo’s aggressive and hard-working approach caused Chelsea problems in the last-32 first leg clash, but the result looks a difficult one for the Swedes to overturn in the second leg next week.
Ross Barkley opened the scoring before Olivier Giroud added a second with a backheeled finish and, despite Anders Christiansen scoring late on after a piece of sloppy play at the back, Luiz is still happy with the result.
“Yes it was important, to put our minds on our goals for the season,” Luiz added. “We did a great game against a difficult team and it is never easy to play here. It was a great atmosphere. The other team were great physically and tactically.
“They fought to the end but we controlled the game. We could have scored more but they were dangerous sometimes. We still won and that is what we came for. It is never good to concede a goal; it is part of our job not to concede just as it is part of our job to score.
“It was still a positive night because we won, but it will be tough at Stamford Bridge.”
Manchester United are Chelsea’s next opponents in the FA Cup on Monday, with Tottenham in the league and Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final also on the fixture list in February.
Chelsea dropped below United in the Premier League after the 6-0 defeat to Man City, and Luiz is anticipating a difficult test on Monday night.
“Even before [Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over] they were a great team, with a great manager,” the Brazilian said.
“[Jose] Mourinho tried to do everything for the best of Manchester United but they decided to change. Solskjaer has come in and he is doing amazing. He is a great coach but he also has great players.”
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