Mauricio Pochettino hits back at Chelsea fans

Mauricio Pochettino has firmly responded to Chelsea supporters who voiced their disapproval of his substitution decisions during the 4-2 FA Cup victory over Leicester City, stating he’s “not here to satisfy the crowd’s desires.”

Chelsea progressed to the FA Cup semi-finals after a tense match at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The Blues initially took a comfortable 2-0 lead into the break, thanks to goals from Marc Cucurella and Cole Palmer, though the Blues missed an opportunity to extend their lead when Raheem Sterling’s penalty was saved.

However, the match took an unexpected turn with Axel Disasi’s own goal and a spectacular strike from Stephy Mavididi bringing Leicester level, before the Foxes were handicapped by Callum Doyle’s dismissal.

However, the Blues struggled to capitalize on their numerical advantage, with Sterling’s disappointing display drawing vocal criticism from the home fans.

The decision not to substitute the underperforming Sterling first sparked outrage among fans when Pochettino’s initial substitution saw Carney Chukwuemeka coming on for Mykhailo Mudryk, who had been performing well.

This move was met with loud boos and chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing” directed at Mauricio Pochettino, until Sterling was finally replaced by Noni Madueke later in the match.

Ironically, it was the substitutes Chukwuemeka and Madueke who found the net in injury time, propelling Chelsea into the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley for the second time this season.

This isn’t the first occasion Mauricio Pochettino has faced criticism from his own supporters, but he reiterated the importance of their trust while fervently standing by his strategic choices.

“I am not here to do what the people want. Also, I am not stupid,” Mauricio Pochettino angrily said in his post-match press conference.

“I say for me, I saw Mudryk and we analysed he was tired, doing some stretching. So we decided first for Mudryk and then for Raheem. We are professional.

“They [the fans] need to trust in the club. If I am here its because of the faith of the club.

“If I am here, its because the club think its good from the club.”

Mauricio Pochettino also told BBC Sport: “Fans are entitled to show their emotion. For us we try to emphasise with our fans not to criticise.

“They want the best for our team and players. But we are in a project. We need support and to really believe. We are trying to build something.

“What the fans want is to win the game and that we achieved. What the fans want is to go to Wembley and that we achieved.

“I know really well how to manage. They need to trust me to manage in the way I think is the best way for the club.

“We need to respect their opinion as much as they need to respect my decision.”

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