Maurizio Sarri believes Chelsea can afford to drop points and still secure a top-four Premier League finish.
Chelsea’s head coach expects all their top-four rivals to slip up on the run-in, with the fifth-placed Blues starting the weekend just one point off Tottenham in third.
Midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has insisted Chelsea must win all their six remaining league matches for that top-four berth, but Sarri disagrees.
Chelsea’s Italian boss called on his squad to ignore their rivals’ results and chase as many wins as possible, starting against West Ham on Monday night.
Asked if Chelsea must win all their remaining matches to make the top four, Sarri replied: “No, because I think the last part of the season will be really very difficult for every team.
“We have only to fight and to think about our matches.
“I think we have to fight until the last minute of the last match, but without looking at the other results.
“Usually we go on the pitch with the same target: at home and away.
“Of course, we are not able to win every match, but we try to win every match, at home and away.
“We have to play very difficult matches, especially away in the last part of the season, but we have only to do our best.
“We have only to play every match for winning. And then we will see.”
Chelsea must still make trips to both Liverpool and Manchester United in a testing end to the season, leaving the Blues eyeing even more closely home wins over West Ham, Burnley and Watford.
Sarri has warned his players not to underestimate Monday night’s challenge posed by the Hammers, however.
“I think they are a really very dangerous team,” said Sarri.
“Because, in the season, they were not able to have consistency, but they are a team with high quality.
“And so, in a single match, they can be very dangerous. It’s a difficult match.”