Chelsea vs Everton: What Mauricio Pochettino said about Enzo and Disasi injuries, Chilwell ahead of the clash

Chelsea vs Everton: What Mauricio Pochettino said about Enzo and Disasi injuries, Chilwell ahead of the clash

Mauricio Pochettino spoke to the media on Friday afternoon ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League clash against Everton on Monday night.

Five days after the Blues’ last league outing away at Sheffield United, a match that finished in a 2-2 draw, Pochettino has been preparing his squad for a different sort of challenge at Stamford Bridge on Monday. Everton, who were deducted a further two points earlier in the week, come to SW6 fighting for their lives in the top-flight and will be looking to do a league double on Chelsea.

Ahead of the match, Pochettino faced a room full of journalists at Cobham where he was tasked with answering multiple questions.

Good news that Chilwell is back in training… How much have you missed him?

“Yes, not only him but I think there are too many players that we miss, we are missing the competition. But in that personal case, Chilly is training, partial training today with the team, and see if he can be involved with the squad, on the bench for Monday. It’s good news, but it’s true what you say, he has not played too much this season.”

What are the specific issues with Axel Disasi and Enzo Fernandez?

“Yes, we will see. They are under assessment. They have different type of issues. We don’t believe they are big issues but we will see if they can be available.

“At the moment, they have not trained after Sheffield. We do not know if they can be involved or not for Monday.”

There have been so many injuries this season. Have you known a season like this?

“It’s true that this is a special season for us because we are suffering a lot. I need to stop to talk because people are waiting for me to speak in the press conference because they know that I am going to talk about that.

“We need to stop and adapt. We need to accept the reality and we need to be positive with the players we have and the young kids coming through the academy. We are going to try and be competitive for Monday.

“Yes, we need to accept the situation and be positive. If something happens, we need to take the positive thing that we are going to have the possibility to train with young players from the academy and maybe they can step up and show their quality and maybe we have at the end of the season a surprise that can be good players and provide for Chelsea. When that situation happens, another door will be open. It’s good for the kids to have the possibility to be able to train with us.”

How have the players reacted to drawing with Sheffield United?

“Also, I think I need to be more cautious about my words after the game because it is a fact we have a young squad but also I need to adapt a different message. The message is to try and improve. This week, I think we were working really hard to try and improve in all the areas that we were talking a lot about.

“We need to accept that is the reality, but sometimes it’s to give my feelings and be a bit more positive. We have a really good squad and that is the reality. We need to support them, work hard to help them and perform better in the next game.

“I am happy. I am really happy in the way they are training this week and yes, hope we can have a really good game on Monday.”

Is it difficult in the emotions of the game afterwards?

“Yes because we are winners. We want to win. We arrive here because we know that Chelsea’s history is about to win. That is why sometimes when we draw a game or don’t win a game, you feel really, really, really disappointed and very frustrated and sometimes it is not easy to face you and be calm.

“Yes, there are still too many things to play. We need to be positive. Even if we have this type of circumstance, we need to be positive and think in a positive way.”

The Premier League will use semi-automated offside technology before the end of the year. What are your thoughts on this?

“We were talking with Adrian [press officer] and Jesus [Perez, assistant], if it is right, [then it is] perfect. I will be happy. We will see if it works. We need to be positive about the decision. If the system is right, then for sure we will be very happy.”

Conor Gallagher playing on the left wing against Sheffield United, why did you make that decision?

“It’s the circumstance and the form of the player. We need to provide the balance, in possession and out of possession. That is the principle thing, why we sometimes use different players in different positions, to provide the team the best balance.”

How close are some of the academy talents to breaking through?

“I think they are so close, in the way we are working, the coaching staff, we are working so close to the academy. Because of the circumstances, also, for us to invite every week young players from the academy to train with us.

“That is a good opportunity for them to show their quality. Of course, it is realistic. The only thing is to have the opportunity, to show it there and be consistent enough. I agree with you, Chelsea have one of the best academies, not only in England but the world and I think it’s our responsibility to pay attention and to care about these guys.

“Of course, because of the situation we are in, they will have the possibility to be involved in the squad for Monday, a few of the players. They have been training with us, 16, 17, 18, 19-year-olds, they are training normally and being consistent with that. That is a very good experience for them and good for their evolution, to help compete with the senior players.”

How is Ugochukwu?

“Right now, he is doing his recovery. We will see in a few weeks whether he can be again involved in the training session with the first-team. But it is day by day we are assessing these guys.”

You face an Everton side that have been deducted points. What do you think about those rules?

“I don’t have the information. It is difficult for me to give an opinion to you. It’s not my subject, I am not focused, or reading, or listening. It’s impossible for me to give an opinion.”

Noni Madueke, do you think he can eventually do what Cole Palmer is doing in terms of how many goals he is scoring?

“First of all, it’s about to have the space for him. When the club signed Cole Palmer, also he [Madueke] was here with the club. We were signing another player to play in the same position as him. It’s all about adaptation and try to find a dynamic where Palmer and him can play together.

“Yes, of course, always we hope the players with talent, like Noni, we hope he can be consistent playing in the team, the starting XI. Of course, but always it’s about to find the right balance for the team and when Palmer arrived, he was doing really well, sometimes you cannot play two players in the same position. But yes, he has the talent and we hope he can grow and be an important player for Chelsea in the future.”

Will the club look at the injury situation and address it in the summer?

“That should be fair, no? It should be fair to have a fitter squad to prove that we are a good squad and we can compete for good things. At the moment, it is not fair to judge players, I don’t want to be wrong but it’s really tough when you don’t have the squad fit to increase the competition between them.

“I don’t want to talk about excuses. I want to be positive. It’s a good chance for the young guys to see very close and be realistic to prove they can compete in the first-team and be a Chelsea player.

“We need to take this opportunity and be positive. I think we need to take advantage adapting and see if these young guys can take the opportunity to step up.”

Do you have to approach games against teams fighting against relegation differently?

“That shows in all the comments after the games. When we face teams like Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham or Liverpool, I think always the team shows good quality. The problem is to be consistent when we analyse the game, it’s a lack of maturity and that is only with time that we can get the right balance.”

Chelsea have conceded two goals in each of their last seven games…

“In the same way we concede, we score. In the past it was we didn’t score, we didn’t score, we didn’t score. We always struggled to score goals, but always it’s about balance.

“We are going to create chances and sometimes we are going to take risks. It’s about finding the right balance between phases, when we attack and then try to be more aggressive in some situations. But that is the normal process, the balance when a team is not mature enough; you can suffer.”

How frustrating is it that you can’t keep clean sheets?

“In the last seven or eight games we didn’t lose in the Premier League. For me, the most important thing is to win games. Afterwards the priority will be to have a clean sheet and not to concede, but at the moment it is about to win games. We need three points.

“I want to keep the goal safe and not to concede chances or goals but it doesn’t work like this. If we are only thinking to have a clean sheet, then maybe we need to have 10 players more defensive and see in some transitions whether we can score one goal.

“But Chelsea, in my opinion, is about to go forward, create chances and to score goals. Because we have in the squad players that can attack in the last third, but in the end we need to behave in the same way when we don’t have the ball. We need to be more mature and more competitive and that is to manage and to deal with two phases in the same way.”

Would you ever park the bus?

“[Laughs] Nah. You need to translate to the players the philosophy, how you feel, how you are. We are a coaching staff working together for more than 14 years. It’s impossible for us to go and like you say ‘park the bus’.”


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