Maurizio Sarri expects a difficult start to life at Chelsea.
Antonio Conte won the 2016-17 Premier League title in his first season in charge, reviving Chelsea from a 10th-placed finish the previous campaign.
Conte won the 2018 FA Cup in his final game as head coach in May, before being sacked despite starting pre-season in charge, hampering Sarri’s preparation.
The 59-year-old former Napoli boss has had just four weeks since his appointment to prepare for Saturday’s Premier League opener at Huddersfield, and has been without many of his leading players due to the World Cup.
“I hope that the second part of the season, for us, will be very good with a lot of points,” Sarri said.
“I expect in the first part of the season some problems.”
Asked what issues he expects, Sarri added: “On the results. Maybe the performances in the first part of the season will not be in line with the potential of the squad. Maybe, in the first part.”
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is not renowned for his patience.
But Sarri says the Chelsea hierarchy acknowledge it has hardly been an ideal start, with the head coach unhappy about a pre-season schedule which included a trip to Australia.
“They know it very well,” Sarri added.
The Blues boss has a reputation for an attractive, attacking style, known as ‘Sarri-ball’.
“I think you have to wait for a couple of months. You have to wait,” he added.
Chelsea struggled for goals last season under Conte, and Sarri appears to have identified the pace of the attack, or the lack of a change in pace, as the issue.
He added: “If we are able to play at another speed, maybe scoring will not be a problem for us.
“But at this moment, at this current speed, it may be a problem.”