Every word Mauricio Pochettino said on Raheem Sterling boos, Mudryk substitution and Wembley

By Staff

Mauricio Pochettino was in a bullish mood to defend his players following Chelsea’s 4-2 FA Cup win over Leicester City. He faced questions on the boos for Raheem Sterling and the size of his squad.

A fourth consecutive game of conceding two goals has also raised questions of the solidity of his defence on a day which saw Axel Disasi cannon a backward pass into his own net and Robert Sanchez suffer a nervy performance. However, this is also a second outing at Wembley for the Argentine in his first season in charge.

On this he was very strong and sturdy regarding where he sees this side. He hit back at suggestions of the order of substitutions and explained to the supporters what has been achieved in the time he has been at the club.

A win is a win but one perhaps much harder than it needed to be?

Yes, because if we scored in the first half, all the chances that we create, I think it was finished after 45 minutes the game. But, and then when we missed too many chances and then we concede in the way that we concede I think it was the emotional impact and we know very well the beauty of the of the cup.

We saw yesterday different games like with Coventry. That is football, that is football, of course.

But I think no one can say that we didn’t deserve, I think we fully deserve to be on Wembley and we are in Wembley and the objective is to go again and for the second time, first was the kind of cup where we were in the final and now we are again in the FA Cup, you know, in the semifinal going to Wembley twice at the moment.

Hope that three times we can go. But I think this group of players that will be a big credit and also the staff because in a circumstance that we are from the beginning of the season, I think it is massive to get twice. You know the possibility to fight for a for a title.

Do you think that Raheem should have taken the penalty, or should Palmer have had it?

No, I think, you know, very well that he scores but he gave the ball to Raheem. I think they have very good relationship that came from, of course, Manchester City, when they were both in Manchester City.

I think when Raheem asked for the ball to take the penalty, I think Cole gave, you know, the ball you saw, you can see in the TV, but that is not a problem.

Cole can miss, Raheem can miss, look for me, the decision is there and of course I’m going to support always, the decision of my players on the pitch. That is about to grow and be more mature and of course, always happy we take decision.

How do you feel that Raheem dealt with everything today because it was difficult, with the atmosphere?

I think I cannot hide nothing. You know, I think you are like me that the feelings weren’t good for him and, but I’m going to support him and we are all we are going to. I think he was great, today is a great opportunity to support, to support him.

He has an unbelievable CV, like a player he has played in a big teams, experienced player, of course, today missed the penalty and some chances.

But look, I think I am happy with him and we are going to support and I see the chances we have, I think the chances to show that we are building something because I think we are going to support him and for sure we are going to get the lead on the game that he needs to help the team.

And of course, and that is my decision like always, you know, to play with 11 player and choose my player. Always talking about my feelings and the performance, always doing the best for the for the team and for the club and of course for the fans and of course it is keep going, being strong and believing in the, in the way that we are doing the things.

Is it right that fans boo any of their players?

Yes, but I think yes, we need to accept, you know, we need to accept, we need to accept the situation.

Like when I tried to explain the situation on the squad, I try to explain, maybe I need to explain also the fans, I said, we need to accept, it doesn’t mean that we are agree or not agree, but we need to accept because our fans, all the fans in football live about the expectation, a lot about elation and I know they want the best for the club and for the player.

But of course, when you know the expectation and that is the difficult thing for our fan to understand, you know. But I was talking in the past also, I am strong, I have no problem, you know, we are going to keep moving in the same direction and of course, we want to create better and more. I cannot lie.

I hope next game our fans be always unconditional in behind the team because we are representing the Chelsea and the player also, they want to give the best for the, for the club and for the fans because I think the player cannot play badly or you know, but I think we are in a process that we want to, to make happy our fans.

And we are going to try hope, hope that we can create until to the end of the season, a good connection with the fans.

And yes, I’m not going to criticize the fans never because I think they are entitled to say what they want.

We’ve been asking if you need more goal-scorers but instead do you need a new defence?


We score five today, one was the goal by accident. No, I think it’s more to find the balance, the quality, you know, balance because we have great offensive player.

But they need also not to think in two actions, is have more volume about because Premier League and we are in England. We cannot survive with two, three players that only do good action, amazing talent, but it’s two phases in football.

One when I have the ball, another when we don’t have the ball and we cannot, if we concede goals, it’s only the keeper or the defensive line is sometimes because we cannot at the moment to find this balance.

That is why we have amazing players, with a ball score an amazing goal. But that is not enough because they are young. They need to be more mature where? In the situation that we need help, when we don’t have the ball to have more energy when we go to press and to make one, two, three effort and sometimes they broke the pressure, we need to run backward.

But at the moment, we have too many explosive players that can do amazing action.

But then, then we don’t have the ball. I want to explain and, and you relay to everyone. No, but that is the reality.

That is why we sign, it is difficult to find the consistency because of the profile of the, the squad.

We need to fix that with time. Like another team in one, two, three, four year, they try to find the balance, you know, in this aspect because it’s not only yes, some flashes and then, ‘Why not play this, why not play that?’

But after you need to count the whole game and not only in some action, but that is football sometimes happen with, with the fans in football always see, ‘Oh what amazing, you know, action.’ But and then who understand, really understand football when you analyze why we took the decision or we are silly guys that we are in front of you, you know, or they can pay big money to, the coaching staff like Jesus or like this, you know, to, to be in front is because I think we have some knowledge.

No, but always it is about to find the, the, the right balance. That is why I don’t believe it’s only the defensive line or we need to blame is we, we need to blame altogether because at the moment, yes, we have good intention but still we are growing, we are not in the level that we expect if we want to challenge the big size.

What have the cup runs done for the development of the squad, as the results have been smoother than the league?

Yes, because the Premier League is different. I think the competition is different and we were not lucky, I think in too many periods on the Premier league.

It’s true that we are close and I really believe that we can get the last ten, eleven games to get good result and be higher than in our position because we are there.

But I think we were not lucky. I think I don’t want to repeat again all the process from the beginning of the season. But I think the most important is little by little build, build our relationship, build a squad that can, you know, be more consistent, that is the key

The key is about to identify all the things that we need to change little by little during the season, last season, the next season, you know, that is to have a vision, what we need to be stronger and stronger and involved with the talent, the player talent, the talented player that we have.

Yeah, but you know, they need to progress also and they have time also to realize that football is not only flashes, it’s not only action, it’s about to be consistent in two phases on the game, but of course, Premier League is tougher, but we were not lucky on the result

Of course in Carabao Cup and now in the FA Cup, we are doing well and, and of course it is a local competition and I think the team deserve credit.

You know, when we play with less pressure on the team sometimes appear you know, better and give signals that we can progress.

Premier League is tough and, and you need some time, more be more mature and more experienced and because the game, the approach of the games and after how you deal with the games is gonna be different.

But I think yes, finding the balance, I think, I think we are in a good way even if yes, disappointed with the position on the table on Premier League. But I think I really believe that we can move, move forward.

You said earlier the fans need to trust you more…

No, I know that they trust me, they need to trust on the club because on the end, if I am here it’s because the decision of the club and they need to trust on the pressure of the club. It’s not to trust in me or to trust in the player, it’s to trust on the club that the club is doing.

What the group think that this is good for the club and of course for the fans, it’s about to, to trust in everyone, not only me.

But did you think they trust in you?


The fans.

You need to ask, I think you have maybe a better opportunity to talk with the people, all the fans, you know that I saw in the on the street, they always show my, the support of them.

But of course, if we are playing and we concede a goal its 2-2 like this or they feel sometimes the emotion because they are disappointed, but it’s normal that they show the, that they are not agree with some of course decision or because it’s the feeling.

But as I think we have very clever fans that they realize of the situation and then when they are on the street, you know, I was open to talk with them and they show the support.

The fans reacted badly when you took off Mudryk instead of Sterling. Are you worried that the anger was directed at you?

No. That is why I made the decision. I am not here to do what the people want. Also, I am not stupid. I am not expressed to do this to go again.

You know, I think for me, I saw Mudryk and we analyze and he was tired, he was doing some stretching and we thought that maybe he’d not finish the game and then we will decide, you know, to go for first for Mudryk and then for Raheem.

That is because we need to see everything we are professional and we want to win but of course, complete understand the situation. That doesn’t mean that I agree.

But look, we are going to support Mykhailo, we are going to support Raheem and we are going to support all the players that are in the squad that is big because in the program, you, you don’t have the program here that today… [Asks for the matchday program and holds it up].

People say, ‘Oh big squad.’ But did you see the names [points to the names at the end of the list] under 18, under 18, under 18, under 18, under 21, under 21, under 21.

And sometimes people you can confuse, you know, ‘Big squad.’ You know why we use too many and we put here because we use this guy few minutes in Carabao Cup, in the FA Cup or in Premier League because of the circumstance.

It’s only, no, sometimes people want to talk like I want to be nice on we have yes, because we are not going to hide nothing.

Big squad is long because we had too many in player on the first team and we should use all the kids that are helping us. For second time in the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Fa Cup in Wembley.

That is always when I arrive to England, at Southampton they say ‘No, we need to go to Wembley.’

‘We need to go to Wembley.’ Southampton and Tottenham, ‘We need to go to Wembley to go to and now look in, in nine months in the two different competition, we got Wembley and we need to enjoy and we need to trust more.

I really believe I am a person, very positive person. I really believe in our fans. I really believe in the club and really believe the most important in the staff that we have today because all the staff is, you know, is fantastic and of course in our player, young, but I am ensuring a lot trying to help them to achieve what they, they won and of course, altogether we will succeed. No doubt.

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