Maurizio Sarri and César Azpilicueta Press Conference – Full Transcript

Ahead of tomorrow’s 1st leg against Eintracht Frankfurt in the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final, Maurizio Sarri and César Azpilicueta met with the media.

Here is what both had to say…

MAURIZIO SARRI

Photo Source – @ChelseaFC

On Gary Cahill –

“Cahill is out, it is a medical problem to his tendon. Achilles tendon. He is out, he’s been out for about five days. I want to recover him in one week, I don’t know at the moment. I have to speak to the doctor.”

On issues with lack of centre-backs –

“We are in trouble with the centre backs. In the last two training sessions we played with Azpilicueta as a centre back, just in case, I think he is the only other one who can play there.”

On injuries –

“In the past we were lucky with injuries, now not. Are you worried? Am I? A little. Rudiger is out for three months.”

On Antonio Rüdiger –

“He has to only think to return better than before. When you have a serious injury, it is difficult to stay the same, you can be better or worse. Rudiger is very strong so I think he will return stronger.”

On Willian –

“He is okay, it was only a knock. Today he trained with the group. There are no other injuries problems, [apart from] of course Callum.”

On the Europa League –

“At the moment we need to get into the top-four of the PL, because we want to play in the Champions League. The Europa League is a very important trophy, but we want to play in the UCL.”

 

On delay of arriving in Germany –

“The flight for me is not important, the training was normal. It is a problem for you [the journalists] but not for us.” (Laughs)

On Rudiger’s injury –

“We try to arrive at the end of the season but the injury was there. He had a problem to his meniscus, so it was broken, we tried to get him through until the end of the season. Sometimes you can do it and play 1 month, but the situation was the same”

(Sarri confirms Rudiger has been playing with injury for a while and broke down against Manchester United. The plan was always for him to have surgery at the end of the season.)

On faith towards Andreas Christensen –

“Christensen is not a problem for us, the problem is the number at the moment.”

On Eintracht Frankfurt –

“I respect Eintracht very much, they are very dangerous. They are a dynamic team, they have great intensity, the have the same physical qualities as Slavia, but the quality is different. Especially in the attacking phase.”

CÉSAR AZPILICUETA

Photo Source – @ChelseaFC

On Iker Casillas (who suffered a heart attack earlier today) –

“I want to wish him a good recovery. The news shocked us but it’s good to hear he’s doing well. He was my teammate for many years”

On being asked to play at centre-back once again if needed –

“You know me, I can adapt to different positions, I can enjoy where the manager thinks I am useful for the team. I am ready for it.”

On winning the Europa League this season –

“Here in Chelsea, every season we start and go for every trophy. Through the year you go out in some of them, we have arrived in the semi-final of the Europa League, it was a long way to go here.”

On already winning the Europa League (back in 2013) –

“It was my first trophy with Chelsea and the first trophy is something special, I have great memories from it. It is something different to the Premier League.”

On motivation versus Eintracht Frankfurt –

“It is our moment to step up and to try and win it for the second time in our history.”

On Frankfurt’s threat –

“Eintracht is a team that dominates its group stage. It has knocked out Shakhtar, Inter, Benfica. They play with high intensity and put a lot of bodies into the final third.”

On Rudiger’s injury –

“Antonio is a very important player for us. To miss any player at this stage is not the best news we could have. Antonio is a strong man, when we heard the news we sent him messages of a quick recovery.”

On the £20,000 fine handed to Cardiff City manager Neil Warnock –

“We will talk in private about this [sending him money]. I was there in the middle because I was the one who scored the goal. When I scored, I looked at the linesman. I thought I was on the edge.”

And that’s the end of the Press Conference. Some revealing comments made by Sarri on the lack of centre-backs that are currently at his disposal. Here’s hoping that Cahill and even Ethan Ampadu are back in contention as soon as possible.

Anyways – let’s hope for no more injuries tomorrow and a positive result to take back to Stamford Bridge next week.

Terry Sazio

What are your thoughts on the comments made? Let us know via our official Twitter and via Terry’s personal Twitter as well.

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