London Football News

Sarri hits back after Hoddle criticises him over Loftus-Cheek

Maurizio Sarri says Ruben Loftus-Cheek is not yet ready to play a full match following a back problem.

Head coach Sarri has faced criticism for not giving more game time to Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

Both were substitutes for the Europa League win against Dynamo Kiev, with Loftus-Cheek setting up Hudson-Odoi for the third goal in the Blues’ 3-0 win.

Former Blues boss Glenn Hoddle has described Loftus-Cheek being overlooked in favour of Mateo Kovacic as “sacrilege” and typical of the way young English players are not being given a chance.

However, speaking at a press conference, Sarri insisted it is right to ease Loftus-Cheek back to action.

“He’s been training with the team for a few weeks but he’s not in a condition to play 90 minutes,” Sarri said.

“He wasn’t in the starting XI only for this reason. I think in two or three weeks he will be able to play for 90 minutes.

“At the moment he is not able to, but the back now is better and better.”

Chelsea face Wolves at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and will be looking to maintain their excellent recent run.

Sarri said: “I think we have two big opportunities – this match and then the match against Brighton.

“I think we are fighting for the top four and will be fighting until the last minute of the last match, so every match will be important for our future.”

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