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Under-fire boss Sarri oversees Chelsea training after Manchester City loss

  /  autty

Under-fire Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri watched on as his players were put through their places in training on Monday afternoon while his future remained far from certain.

The Italian was left clinging to his job on Sunday night after Chelsea’s embarrassing 6-0 defeat at Manchester City.

But it appeared to be business as usual for the Blues as Sarri watched on as his players turned their attention to their Europa League clash with Malmo on Thursday night.

Assistant Gianfranco Zola appeared to be the one leading the session while Sarri was involved in a deep discussion on the touchline with captain Cesar Azpilicueta.

Sarri was not wearing his usual Chelsea kit and instead watched the practice at the club's Cobham training base in his own clothing.

Most of those involved in the session appeared to be second string as those who played in the humiliating defeat were given time to recover.

The 60-year-old will only lose his job if owner Roman Abramovich decides to intervene and cut him loose.

Club director Marina Granovskaia made the decision to hire Sarri in the summer after being attracted by 'some of the most exciting football in Europe' from his Napoli team.

Granovskaia does have the power to end Sarri's reign but that would be unlikely given he was her appointment last year.

Sarri remained coy over his future on Sunday and, when asked if he was expecting a call from Abramovich, pointed towards the power structure at Chelsea.

‘You have to ask the club,’ Sarri said amid growing calls for his removal after a fourth defeat in eight games. ‘I’m worried about my team. I’m worried about the performance. My job is always at risk.

‘If the president calls, I’ll be happy, seeing as I never hear from him.

‘To be honest, I don’t know what to expect. I didn’t see my football. At the beginning of the season it worked. Now we need to understand the reasons why it isn’t working. It is not easy.’

Chelsea players looked particularly downbeat as they pulled into the club's Cobham training base on Monday morning.

Willian, David Luiz and N'Golo Kante were among those seen driving into the facility as they swiftly returned to the training pitch.

An under-pressure Sarri must now rouse his players for Thursday's Europa League knockout tie with Swedish side Malmo.

Things then get even tougher as they face a rejuvenated Manchester United in the FA Cup next Monday.

Former Chelsea captain Frank Lampard is the bookmakers' favourite to become the next permanent boss if Sarri is shown the door.

Lampard has impressed so far this season with Derby County in the Championship in what is his first job as a manager since ending his illustrious playing career.

Lampard has been installed as 2/1 favourite with a few firms, edging out three-time Champions League winner Zinedine Zidane, who is yet to return to management since leaving Real Madrid.

Jose Mourinho, sacked by Manchester United in December, is out at 12/1 for a return to Chelsea for a third spell.

Lampard enjoyed a trophy-laden career as a player at Chelsea and would be a hit with supporters if he does one day become first-team manager.

He returned to Stamford Bridge with Derby earlier this season and received a hero's welcome before his side gave the hosts a scare before losing 3-2.

Related: ChelseaM. Sarri