Football Soccer European spot will make Chelseas season Pochettino says
Football Soccer European spot will make Chelseas season Pochettino says

Football: Soccer-European spot will make Chelsea’s season, Pochettino says

LONDON (Reuters) – If Chelsea finish in a European qualifying spot it will not only make their season but would give the club hope of improving in the next campaign, manager Mauricio Pochettino said on Tuesday.

Chelsea need to win Wednesday’s game at Brighton & Hove Albion to get closer to a top-six Premier League finish.

The Blues are level with sixth-placed Newcastle United on 57 points but trail on goal difference. Newcastle visit seventh-placed Manchester United, who have 54 points, in Wednesday’s later kick off in the battle for European qualification.

Injuries and the inconsistent form of Chelsea’s young team were blamed as the twice Champions League winners languished in mid-table but Pochettino’s big-money squad have shown potential in recent weeks, quickly climbing the standings.

“The team is doing well, in the second part of the season – in the last 26 or 27 games,” Pochettino told reporters. “If we can compete well in the last two games then there is a possibility to get into Europe, which would be amazing for us.

“If we are able to finish well and get into Europe, for sure we can start the next season with hope to be in a better position than we were in this season.”

After captain Reece James’ return from injury in their last game, the Blues are looking forward to another injury boost as Pochettino confirmed midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka and defender Ben Chilwell have returned to training.

“We need to assess if they will be part of the squad for tomorrow, but if not tomorrow then the weekend,” he added, with Chelsea hosting Bournemouth in their final game on Sunday.

Looking back at his first season in charge, Pochettino did not want to focus on negatives. “I don’t want to talk anymore (about the age and lack of experience in the squad),” he said.

“From next season I want to talk about a different issue. I hope we can talk about the evolution of a different aspect of the game, in a tactical way, to evolve and be positive.

“Because now it is like we are stuck, like the Coldplay song, ‘stuck in reverse’.”

The Argentine manager’s future was up in the air as he lost the loyalty of some fans after a bad run of league results as well as losing the FA Cup semi-final to Manchester City and the League Cup final against Liverpool.

“I don’t show fake feelings and I don’t want people to show fake feelings to me. The fans need to enjoy in the stadium to create this link with us, most importantly we need to be respectful,” he added.

“Little by little, with time we are capable of getting the results the club deserves. For sure, we are going to create a great relationship.”

(Reporting by Shifa Jahan in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Sila Baca Juga

Football Soccer De Bruyne hails Belgium improvement ahead of Euro 2024

Football: Soccer-De Bruyne hails Belgium improvement ahead of Euro 2024 opener

FRANKFURT, Germany (Reuters) – Belgium midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is feeling no ill-effects of an …