6 March 2019

Sarri Planning For Next Season  (Sky Sports)

Maurizio SarriMaurizio Sarri has insisted that he is not concerned by speculation over his future at Chelsea and that he is already planning for next season.

Having made a strong start after taking over at Stamford Bridge last summer, Sarri appeared to be on the brink of losing his job in February as a poor run of results climaxed with a 6-0 thrashing at Manchester City and tame FA Cup exit at home to Manchester United.

However, Chelsea responded with a credible performance in a penalty shoot-out Carabao Cup final defeat to City, before producing consecutive Premier League victories over Tottenham and Fulham.

Following the victory at Craven Cottage on Sunday, Sarri told the Italian media that he was confident of staying at Stamford Bridge next season due to conversations he'd had with the club hierarchy over future planning.

"We were talking about the programme of the next pre-season, so we were trying to organise in the best way the next pre-season," Sarri said on Wednesday.

"[Speculation] is not a big problem, the problem is the results. The rest is not important in this moment. I want to win for the team, for the club, not for me. So it's not important.

"I was confident in the past, I am confident now but I want to think only about our performances and our results."

Chelsea host Dynamo Kiev on Thursday in the first leg of their last-16 Europa League tie, with the winners of the competition securing a coveted place in next season's Champions League.

Sarri's side could also seal a return to Europe's top competition by securing a top-four finish in the Premier League, with Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal also vying for the two spots behind title contenders Manchester City and Liverpool.

"I think we can gain the spot in the Champions League through the Premier League," Sarri said.

"We are fighting. We are only two points [behind fourth-placed Manchester United] at the moment. We have to play one match [in hand].

"But the Europa League is a very important competition. It is the second competition in Europe. It's a very important trophy, and then there is a spot for the next Champions League, so it's a very important target for us."

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