Maurizio Sarri has admitted he believes Chelsea would struggle against the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool playing in the way they have so far this season.
Chelsea have made a great start to Sarri’s first campaign in charge, winning all five league games since the Italian took over as head coach.
They moved above Liverpool on goal difference to top the Premier League table by beating Cardiff 4-1 on Saturday.
Cardiff boss Neil Warnock nevertheless suggested that Chelsea’s defensive shortcomings might mean they encounter problems against the top sides.
And Sarri said: “I think he is right. Because we are very dangerous in the defensive phase, we need to improve there. But I think we can do it.
“Eight players joined us this summer. So I think it’s normal that in this period we have some defensive problems. We can cope with the problems with the quality in the offensive phase, but not in the defensive phase.
“So I have to organise better the defensive phase and the players have to understand that. I think my opinion in this moment, two teams, Liverpool and Manchester City are better than us.
“We have to improve step by step. My target is to become the best team in England in one year, 18 months. That’s the target.”