Football Soccer Newcastle blocking Pochettinos path towards first English trophy
Football Soccer Newcastle blocking Pochettinos path towards first English trophy

Football: Soccer-Newcastle blocking Pochettino’s path towards first English trophy

LONDON (Reuters) – Mauricio Pochettino endured several near-misses with Tottenham Hotspur and left without winning any silverware so Chelsea’s League Cup quarter-final at home to Newcastle United will not be taken lightly by the Argentine.

Pochettino’s main priority might be to revive Chelsea’s Premier League fortunes and return the club to the Champions League arena, but he needs no reminding that he is still without any honours in English football.

The last time Chelsea won the League Cup was in 2015 when they beat Pochettino’s Tottenham. Pochettino also took Spurs close to winning the Premier League, to the Champions League final and back-to-back FA Cup semi-finals.

“Of course, I want to win a trophy here in England. I want to lift a trophy now in this competition because it is important,” Pochettino told reporters when asked whether the League Cup had become more important this season given Chelsea’s mid-table position in the Premier League.

“It means a lot because we want to deliver the job for our club. Delivering a trophy, the most important thing is to win. It’s difficult to measure, it is a priority. It’s in our mind, our objective, we need to be ready tomorrow to be closer to winning a title. My desire is to win.”

Pochettino’s first season at Stamford Bridge has been a difficult one so far as he tries to find the right formula for an expensively-assembled squad, although they earned a much-needed win against bottom club Sheffield United at the weekend.

While he won the French league title and French Cup during a spell at Paris St Germain, Pochettino’s CV still looks lightweight, although he is not losing sleep over it.

“You need to be in the right club, in the right moment with all of the elements to win,” he said. “To be an elite manager, it’s not necessary to win titles, many elite managers still didn’t win or are going to win.

“It’s important to analyse every single project and say you can progress or not or deliver the job everyone expects. (The League Cup) is important for the club because it’s going to be a boost in energy and I really believe in the project.”

Newcastle will also be desperate to reach the League Cup final again after losing to Manchester United last season — denying them a first major trophy for 55 years.

“For Newcastle it is also an important competition but from the beginning of the season it has been one of our objectives,” Pochettino said. “We face a very good team and will be tough.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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