Maurizio Sarri has admitted Chelsea have a 'mental problem' which will leave them playing catch up to Manchester City in the Premier League title race this season.
The Blues are one of three unbeaten teams in the Premier League this season, although they remain the only unbeaten side in England across all competitions after both City and Liverpool lost to Lyon and Red Star Belgrade respectively in the Champions League group stages.
Sarri has taken the league by storm this season and Chelsea - who were being tipped as a side who would challenge for the top four - are now among the favourites to win the Premier League title this season.
However, Sarri insists his side has a problem which will make them part of the pack of clubs chasing both Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp.
"It’s a mental problem. In the last three matches, we had problems with our approach," Sarri insisted, quoted by the Mirror. "Not only that, because we had some problems also at the beginning of the second half. So, we have to be careful. We have to be focused on this problem.
"It’s not a physical problem because, in the last part of the match, we ran a lot. It’s a mental problem.
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"It’s not a tactical problem. Because in the first 15 minutes of the last three matches, the problem was the opponents were more aggressive, more determined than us. So, we have to approach the match in a different way, with application and determination."
Sarri added that title rivals Manchester City are head and shoulders above everyone else in the Premier League, insisting that it will not be possible for Chelsea to claw back the 30 point gap between the two clubs last season.
"At the moment, in the Premier League, there is a team above the others. This team is Manchester City. Then there is a very good team, Liverpool. For sure, they will be in the first four positions," he continued.
"We have to work very hard just to try to recover the gap. But, at the moment, the gap is still there. We can recover, but I don’t think that, in the first season, we will be able to recover 30 points."
Sarri can start to make some headway this weekend when Chelsea travel across London to face Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham at Wembley. Just one point separates the two sides currently in the league table.