Pedro: Kepa saga didn't destabilise Chelsea & players remain behind Sarri
The Blues tasted derby victory over Tottenham on Wednesday, with the furore surrounding their Spanish goalkeeper proving to be no distraction
Pedro insists the Kepa Arrizabalaga saga at Chelsea has not destabilised the club, with a derby victory over Tottenham proving as much as the players remain united behind Maurizio Sarri.
The Blues took the decision to bench their Spanish goalkeeper on Wednesday, having already fined him on the back of a Carabao Cup final display of defiance which saw him refuse to be substituted.
The fallout from that incident provided an unwelcome backdrop as Sarri – who was already under pressure following some inconsistent showings – readied his side for a meeting with Spurs.
In the end, Chelsea were able to avoid any distractions as they secured a vital 2-0 win in an going bid for a top-four finish, with Pedro adamant that the Blues squad continue to pull in the same direction.
He told ESPN: “There has been a lot of talk this week and that always destabilises [things] a little, but the truth is that in the dressing room we are together, as a great team.
“We have not given much importance to everything that has been talked about and in the end that is the most important thing. We are focused on doing well in every game to get the three points, because from here to the end of the season they will be all finals and we will try to fight to be in the top four.
“This was a great match for us to gain confidence and stay there [in the fight for the top four].
“We have all talked to each other in the dressing room. We’ve also talked to Willy and we’ve talked to the coach. The truth is that we have solved all the problems and I think it has been a [small] incident rather than a serious problem.
“It always serves to learn. We are with Kepa, with Willy [Cabellero] and with the manager. This is the path that we have to follow. Now we need to get ready very well for the match against Fulham because it is another final.”
Sarri will have more important selection calls to make in another derby date with Fulham, with Pedro adamant that the Italian boasts the full support of those at his disposal.
The World Cup winner added: “We have always been with him.
“We have always talked about all the problems we have had.
“[Sarri] had to make a decision [with Kepa]. He has done that and we simply respect him because we always respect all the managers.”
Caballero kept a clean sheet after being drafted in to replace Kepa and Pedro believes a morale-boosting victory over local rivals could be the catalyst for Chelsea to secure Champions League qualification.
He said: “I think so. We have played very well in the last two games, we were more solid, more compact and we created more chances.
“Against City we already played a great game. It was a pity that we did not have luck in front of goal. Today we did have that and this is the way to go.
“We have to keep playing like this against the top teams and against any team every week to try not to drop points and be in the top [four], because now it is our main goal.”