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Willian: 'I hope Maurizio Sarri is not like Antonio Conte'

Willian: 'I hope Sarri isn't like Conte'
© Reuters
Willian admits that he found it "difficult" to play for Antonio Conte and hopes for a better relationship with new Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri.

Chelsea forward Willian has joked that he hopes Maurizio Sarri "is not the same as Antonio Conte", having found it "difficult" to play for the recently-departed manager.

Conte was axed by Roman Abramovich last month despite winning the FA Cup in his second season at the helm, adding to the Premier League title lifted in 2016-17.

Willian struggled to hold down a spot in the Blues' starting lineup last term, and the Brazilian took a swipe at his then-manager after being snubbed for the FA Cup final win over Manchester United in May.

With Sarri since being brought in as a replacement for Conte, Willian hopes for a better relationship with the 59-year-old.

"I hope he's not the same as Conte!" he told ESPN Brasil. "I'm joking... I think Conte was, for me particularly, a manager that was difficult to work with. His philosophy, his logistics, to manage there, is very complicated.

"I've had some games that you don't understand, you're playing very well and are taken out, you don't understand, twice I headed out of the game and went straight to the dressing room. So it was a bit difficult working with him. But in life we learn from that too."

Sarri held a "positive conversation" with Willian on his return to club duty last week.

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Chelsea's Willian celebrates scoring their first goal against Crystal Palace on March 10, 2018
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