Maurizio Sarri has vowed to "fight until the end" to defy the odds and lead Chelsea to the Premier League title this season, ahead of rivals Manchester City and Liverpool.
Despite making a perfect start to life at Stamford Bridge, Sarri kick started his Chelsea career with a slight disadvantage in the pursuit of silverware this term following his late appointment at the club after being sacked by Napoli earlier in the summer.
While Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have had time to mould their respective clubs over the past few years, Sarri is still imparting his style of play on his side in small chunks due to the late arrivals of players from World Cup duties.
However, it has not stopped the Italian from setting a clear target for the season as he told Il Mattino: “Manchester City are in their third year with Guardiola and can aim not only to win the title again but also the Champions League.
Chelsea look title contenders. Easy on eye. Difficult to handle squad look happy out there.— Ian Darke (@IanDarke) September 1, 2018
“And then there’s Liverpool, who have made great progress with Klopp. I will fight until the end for the English title. I am lucky to have a great squad.
“Little by little I have spoken to the players, given that, because of the World Cup, the last ones arrived in the week before the opening game against Huddersfield.
“But the credit for this efficiency goes to them because they are excellent players. With age, I have understood that what makes champions is their willingness to work and their humility.”
The Blues last secured the league title under Antonio Conte in 2017 and with Sarri yet to win a trophy as a manager he was asked whether his shoes at Napoli or Conte's at Stamford Bridge were harder to fill, and he said:
“I won nothing with Napoli. Conte, on the other hand, here won and it is difficult to take his place.”
Chelsea will look to continue their unbeaten streak, following the international break, when they host Cardiff City next Saturday.