Maurizio Sarri claimed Chelsea had been “unlucky” to lose to Manchester United and insisted he is worried only about results after the club’s fans turned against him as they were eliminated from the FA Cup.
The Blues lost for the third time in five matches, via a 2-0 scoreline at Stamford Bridge that perhaps flattered their performance.
Following a promising start they were convincingly outclassed by United, who impressively responded to their first defeat under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to progress to the quarter-finals where they will visit Wolves.
The visitors built their lead through first-half headers from Ander Herrera and then Paul Pogba as Chelsea’s supporters turned on their manager by chanting “f*** Sarri-ball”.
The 60-year-old, however, remained relaxed as he said: “I am worried about the results. Not about the fans.
“I can understand the situation and our fans, because the result wasn’t really good. We are out of the FA Cup, so I can understand. But I am worried about our results.
“We were unlucky. In the first half we played better than the opponent and, at the end of the first half, it was 2-0 to them. So we played confused football in the second half. But, in the first half, we played well. We need, of course, more aggression, more determination.
“If we are able to win three or four matches in a row, it will be really very easy (to change the negative mood).”
Asked if he had heard that chanted at him before, and then if he retained his players’ support, the Italian responded: “No. For everything, there is a first time.
“(But) I think (the players are with me). Of course I am not sure, but I think so. The relationship is not so important. It’s important to play, it’s important to get good results, but my relationship with my players is good at the moment.
“I was really very worried when I was in League Two in Italy. Not now.”
United had last week struggled when losing 2-0 in the Champions League at home to Paris St Germain, when the impressive Pogba had struggled to exert the same influence.
Solskjaer said: “You want to see a reaction. There’s a balance between being too eager after losing a game, so this was brilliant.
“(Pogba) had a tough game against PSG, but he was probably our best player then. (This) was a great response, playing against one of the best defensive midfielders in the world with (N’Golo) Kante next to him.
“The cross for Ander’s goal was fantastic. Then the way he plays the ball out to Marcus and gets into the box for the second was fantastic, too.
“We lost the (FA Cup) final to Chelsea last year. My last game was a loss to Chelsea in the (2007) FA Cup final. We want to get to the final. It’ll be a tough away game against Wolves.
“We’ve got to build on the positives. We play Liverpool next week, but Chelsea, Arsenal and us will fight for that fourth position (in the Premier League). This was about getting through to the next round.”