Football

‘Not the end of the world!’ – Pochettino responds to Chelsea critics

Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says his Chelsea team ‘want to reach the same level’ as Liverpool, as they look to bounce back from the 4-1 defeat they suffered at Anfield.

It was just their second defeat in their previous seven games, with signs of development growing at the club including reaching the Carabao Cup final.

A heavy defeat like the one they suffered against Jurgen Klopp’s side was a harsh fall back down to earth, although Pochettino is calm over Chelsea’s current state.

“That was the difference between a team that is solid and playing consistently for four or five years for big things, competing with a team that wants to reach the same level,” he said.

“In the third year of [Klopp’s] Liverpool, they came to Wembley we were in Tottenham and we beat them 4-1. No one said that was the end of the world, now look they win the Premier League and Champions League.

“That is why after six months to play against Liverpool, who are fighting for the title and very solid team, I think with all the circumstances that happen during the game and that they were better than us, we will learn.”

Chelsea do have one stand-out positive, a recent formidable record at Stamford Bridge. Unbeaten in their last 10 at home and winning eight is a good platform to build on especially with key man Christopher Nkunku finally in contention to start games.

The Frenchman is yet to complete 90 minutes for Chelsea, but did score against their upcoming opponents, Wolves, in the reverse fixture back in December.

If there is to be success on the near horizon for Pochettino’s men, it could well depend on the involvement of Nkunku.

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“It’s good to see him but we need to anticipate, 45 minutes was good and we wanted to work after the game but he didn’t because it was enough,” said Poch.

“So we need to assess if he can start next game, we need to put everything into context and hope he can cope with the amount of games.

“We need to keep working with him but after six or seven months it can be difficult, but we see that in 45 minutes he had one chance and one goal, we can see his quality.”

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