Cape Town - Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola has admitted that Maurizio Sarri will need time to adapt at the club after a period of turbulence for the Blues.
Zola, who played for Chelsea from 1996 to 2003, was brought back to the club as Sarri's right-hand man after the former Napoli boss replaced Antonio Conte as head coach.
The Blues had already begun their pre-season preparations when Sarri joined the club, and his appointment followed a bitter fallout between Chelsea and Conte, who was openly critical of their transfer policy.
Sarri was still contracted to Napoli even after being replaced by Carlo Ancelotti, and the London club was thus not immediately able to bring him on board after he handed over the reins at Partenopei Gli Azzurri.
"I believe that at the beginning, everybody in the environment will have to be a little bit patient, because it's an odd year with the World Cup and with Maurizio coming a week late," Zola told Chelsea TV.
"With his philosophy, the way he plays, he will need a little bit of time to settle. As long as the people at the club have a little bit of patience with him, I am sure they will get what they are expecting."
Sarri led Napoli to three consecutive top three finishes in Serie A, but was unable to break Juventus' dominance. He will be hoping that at Chelsea, he can convert attractive football into trophies.