Premier League record not on Sarri's mind

Points and not records are on Maurizio Sarri's mind as Chelsea welcomes Crystal Palace to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri   -  Getty Images

Maurizio Sarri insists that he is solely focused on claiming three points against Crystal Palace on Sunday, rather equalling a 24-year-old Premier League record 

Sarri has yet to taste defeat since moving to Stamford Bridge from Napoli, winning seven and drawing three of his 10 league matches in charge.

The record for an unbeaten start to a Premier League career is held by Frank Clark after his Nottingham Forest went 11 games without losing at the start of the 1994-95 campaign.

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Equalling that is not on Sarri's mind and, ahead of the Eagles' visit, he is just keen to stay in touch with Manchester City and Liverpool.

"I don't want to think about the record, we only have to think about the match and to gain points," the Italian told a media conference.

"The record is only a consequence of the result of the match. I have to send the message to my players that the match is the only thing that is important."

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When asked if he expected to have such a good start to life in England, the Chelsea boss added: "No because every experience I have had before I have been in trouble in the first two months."

"I thought it would be the same here. I think here I was lucky because my players were able to win without a very good level of tactical organisation."

One of those players to have impressed is Ross Barkley, the midfielder forcing his way into the Chelsea first-team and Gareth Southgate's England squad.

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Sarri has praised the 24-year-old on a number of occasions in recent weeks, and he took the chance to do so again on Friday.

"He has a great technical quality, from the physical [point of view] he is improving after the injury. He improved from the tactical point of view. He is becoming very important for this team. Not only for us, but for English football as well," he said.

Barkley is in direct competition with Ruben Loftus-Cheek for a starting spot under Sarri, but the manager says that the academy product needs to do more to earn his chance.

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"He [Loftus-Cheek] has improved. But, he needs to improve more in the tactical point of view. The rest is good. He has great physical characteristics, he is fast, solid, he has impact, great characteristics," added Sarri.

"Technically, he is very good and I think if he wants to play like a midfielder he has to improve in the defensive phase. But, the potential is great."