Chelsea players want under-pressure manager Mauricio Pochettino to stay

Chelsea players want under-pressure manager Mauricio Pochettino to stay

Chelsea defender Marc Cucurella says the squad remain behind under-fire manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Pochettino saw his side ease the pressure on him by fighting back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 away at Aston Villa.

VAR ruled out a 95th-minute Axel Disasi winner due to a push by Benoit Badiashile on Diego Carlos.

But, despite that disappointment, Chelsea showed fighting spirit to pull goals back through Noni Madueke and Conor Gallagher after Cucurella’s own goal and a strike from Morgan Rogers.

Asked whether the second-half display at Villa Park showed the players want Pochettino to stay, Cucurella said: “Yes, for sure. He spoke very well at half-time, and all the people saw the team’s reaction.

“A lot of the games we don’t win – and that is part of the game – but I think it is more the whole problem because we have the quality and maybe we don’t show what we can do.

“When we lose 5-0, I don’t think the manager can do anything. I think it is more about us (the players), about our attitude. He has helped a lot of us, he has good communication skills, and the team supports him. We are in a good way.

“We all need to improve every week, stay at the same level, and have the same attitude every minute because we need to win. If we stay together, we can do good things.”

Pochettino has said he would be open to talking to sporting directors Paul Winstanley and Laurence Stewart and co-owners Behdad Eghbali and Todd Boehly about his future at any point between now and the end of the season.

He seemingly remains in the dark about whether he has the club’s backing going into next season.

“We didn’t have any excuses. We played very badly against Arsenal and the attitude was not correct,” Cucurella added.

“In the first half (against Villa), we did not understand the game and suffered a little bit. But we showed we have the quality and the spirit to play and fight together, and we need to stay this way.

“We are a young team, but that is not an excuse because we showed we have the quality. We played against the team sitting fourth in the League, and we dominated the game.

“But we need to maintain this level for every minute of every game. If we stay this way, we can do a lot of good things.”

Cucurella continued: “The attitude in the second half was very good because we came into this from a difficult game and we started badly again. But the team showed personality, confidence.

“We played together, we fought together. It is the way we need to play in every game, every minute, because the quality is there.

“We need to consider that if we don’t play and fight together, it is going to be difficult because this is one of the best leagues in the world. We need to watch the game again, find the good things, and stay this way.

“We have five games left in the season, and I think we can do a lot of good things and finish in a good way. We must keep going.”

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