Maurizio Sarri has lauded the Chelsea support after a united front helped his side reaffirm themselves in the Premier League top four battle with a decisive 3-0 victory against Brighton at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
The Chelsea manager has come under a tremendous amount of scrutiny from supporters in recent weeks with audible chants of "we want Sarri out" emanating from the away section during Chelsea's late win against Cardiff City on Sunday in the Welsh capital.
The Blues' supporters have grown frustrated over Sarri's treatment of the Chelsea academy products, notably Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
However, both Englishman started and played crucial roles in the victory, with Hudson-Odoi assisting Olivier Giroud's opener before Loftus-Cheek capped off the night with a sublime curling finish for his side's third goal.
The Chelsea support was much louder and more positive than in recent weeks, something Sarri recognised in his post-match comments, as quoted by Football.London.
"The atmosphere was wonderful today," Sarri said. "The fans helped the players for 90 minutes, it’s easier when you win 3-0 but it was wonderful today and we must say thank you."
2 - Chelsea have had two English players (Hudson-Odoi & Loftus-Cheek) assist a goal in the same Premier League match for the first time since January 2012 against Bolton (Terry and A. Cole). Lions.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 3, 2019
The comfortable win slightly eases the pressure on the Italian manager, although questions about the long term role of his young stars will only increase in volume after their capable performances against Brighton.
Despite the reluctance to start Chelsea academy products Hudson-Odoi, Loftus-Cheek and Andreas Christensen, Sarri claimed after the match that the trio could be the foundation for a bright future in west London.
When asked about the possibility of the three youngsters becoming Chelsea regulars, Sarri said: "I hope so, I think so. They are very important players but the potential is higher and so in the future they can become top players and so I think that for this team the future could be good."
Chelsea's push for a top four Premier League finish sees them faced with a pivotal London derby against West Ham on Monday night, before Sarri and his team switch their focus to the Europa League for the quarter-final first leg in the Czech Republic against Slavia Prague.