Sarri's strange behaviour is 'a veiled attempt to get Chelsea to back him in power struggle with his players'

Pressure on the Italian coach is mounting after the Blues recorded their worst ever Premier League defeat, losing 6-0 to Manchester City on Sunday.

Sarri has admitted his job is at risk following the City demolition, but only further risked Roman Abramovich's anger by saying he "never hears" from the billionaire club owner.

But the Standard report that such signals are a veiled plea to the club's board for backing in order to avoid losing a power fight to the Blues' dressing room – as his predecessors did.

Antonio Conte, Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas were all driven away from Stamford Bridge after falling out with Chelsea's most influential players.

And Sarri, by sticking to his now famous 'Sarri-ball' and sending provocative statements, wants assurances he has the time to implement the playing style that amazed Europe during his Napoli tenure.

Manchester City chief Pep Guardiola supported the beleaguered Chelsea boss after thumping the Blues at the Etihad.

He said: "I know what he wants to do, I think this kind of person, these type of games always help to make our football better.

"People don’t understand how difficult the first year can be. My first season here was difficult. In my first year, we could not play in the way I wanted.

"People think if you buy players, you can immediately come in and win, but you need time. It just depends on the belief of the owners — if the people really believe in that."

Sarri did not pin the blame to his players and their mentality in the post-match interview on Sunday  – as he has done in the past.

Instead, he hauled them in for an early training session on Monday in order to prevent another disaster from happening in the Europa League tie against Malmo this week.

That shows the Italian does not intend to throw in the towel just yet, looking for answers in order to come back to winning days instead.

But if Chelsea are to do so he clearly wants to see he is still trusted – and respected – despite hitting some bumps in the road.

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