Football

‘We are our own worst enemies’ – Pochettino on Caicedo, European qualification hopes and Chelsea owners

Moises Caicedo of Brighton

Mauricio Pochettino insists that the Chelsea owners are supporting the process at the club despite their poor start to the season.

Following an inconsistent run of form, Chelsea sit tenth in the table ahead of their clash with Brighton and Hove Albion.

In response to Chelsea’s chances of European football, Pochettino said “We need to believe it’s realistic. It’s going to be tough to achieve the places that allow us to play in European competition.”

When asked about the support of the Chelsea owners, Pochettino responded: “That is the reality. That is the process. I think they are supporting this, of course.

“We are our worst enemies. If we’re in our place we will compete in a very good way,” Pochettino said.

“We need to pay more attention to ourselves than the opponent.”

Moises Caicedo and Robert Sanchez will face their former club following their moves to Chelsea.

Pochettino was eager to defend Caicedo from criticism despite his expensive £115million price tag.

“It’s easy to blame the money and different aspects because he is a human being. When something is covered in expectation, it is easy to find something to blame,” Pochettino said.

“For everyone the expectation is different, the shirt is different and the badge is different. It’s about time to fit and to start to perform. That is why we have no doubt it’s only time.”

Pochettino dismissed claims that Caicedo has failed to hit the level of ability shown during his time at Brighton.

“I think it’s a process also. The intention is to analyse and compare a player from one season to another and it’s not fair.”

Chelsea may be boosted by the potential return of Christopher Nkunku who Pochettino hasn’t ruled out for the weekend.

When asked about the return of Nkunku and Romeo Lavia, Pochettino responded “We need to assess tomorrow and then decide. They are close, but we need tomorrow to make a decision. Maybe Lavia is the more difficult one but we need to assess Nkunku.”

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