All the Chelsea players are back from international duty and have returned to training ahead of the Blues’ clash to Cardiff on Sunday.
Maurizio Sarri completed his first press conference since the international break which was heavily dominated with questions surrounding Callum Hudson-Odoi.
The Chelsea boss was asked about the racist chants that took place in England’s 5-1 away win against Montenegro. The 60-year-old said: “Unfortunately I am not able to solve it. In every country there are some stupid people.
“Of course, he is very young, but I think he is really very strong, and the character is really very strong,” said Sarri, when asked whether Hudson-Odoi will be okay mentally.”
Amidst the other international fixtures that took places over the course of the break, Sarri claimed to have only watched England for 20 minutes. “Only 20 minutes because I had 14 players in the internationals so I didn’t have time to watch 20 matches.
“He [Hudson-Odoi] didn’t start very well on the right but did very well on the left.”
Sarri was later asked if Hudson-Odoi would start against Cardiff. “I don’t know. I know very well the situation.
“We have to play eight matches in 28 days, so he will start in two or three.
“In the near future he will start 75 or 80% of matches.”
Cardiff City clash
The Blues face Cardiff City in the Premier League on Sunday at the Cardiff City Stadium. Chelsea will be hoping to bounce back from their recent 2-0 defeat to Everton as the battle for a top-four position grows ever harder.
“Unfortunately, we have to wait to see the reaction during the match. We are working well in training, the only thing that is important is the reaction during the match.
“They [Cardiff] are physical and dangerous … We need to defend very high and far from our box. Otherwise it will be a problem.”
The South West London club had 14 seniors on international duty over the break, and Sarri was not a fan. “We have players tired now. [N'Golo] Kante, [Olivier] Giroud, [Eden] Hazard, played three matches in seven days. We need to recover. I had the whole squad only yesterday. Some were tired.”
Hazard’s future at Chelsea
Since the Real Madrid’s re-appointment of Zinedine Zidane, the transfer rumours linking the Belgian with the ‘Galaticos’ have only increased. In the press conference was asked about Hazard’s future, to which Sarri responded: “You have two possibilities, ask Hazard or the club. I am not in charge of the transfer market.
“We need Hazard to be at the top for the end of the season.
“I want to respect his decision, I don’t know if he has decided or not.”