Pochettino singles out brilliant unselfish Chelsea star for praise after West Ham excellent performance

Mauricio Pochettino singles brilliant unselfish Chelsea star for praise after West Ham excellent performance

Mauricio Pochettino says Noni Madueke’s assist for Nicolas Jackson’s goal against West Ham symbolises Chelsea’s recent upturn in form.

Chelsea thrashed West Ham 5-0 on Sunday, with Cole Palmer, Conor Gallagher and Madueke scoring in the first-half, before Jackson bagged a brace after the break.

Though it’s been a difficult season, the Blues have now lost just one of their last 12 Premier League games, with this latest win moving them up to seventh in the table.

There was much to admire about Chelsea’s performance, but Pochettino singled out Madueke’s selflessness as the highlight.

The young winger opted to pass to Jackson for the fourth goal rather than shot himself despite being one-on-one with goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, with Madueke praising his side for playing ‘unselfishly and working as a collective’.

This comes just a few weeks after both Madueke and Jackson were heavily criticised for trying to steal a penalty off regular taker Palmer in the 6-0 win over Everton.

Asked about Madueke’s comments in his post-match press conference, Pochettino said: ‘The assist for Noni to Jackson, that showed we learn, that we are smart.

‘The situation with the penalty against Everton, we received so much criticism, but a young team always needs to make mistakes. Always you need to feel this situation to improve.

‘Today was a great action from Noni to see how the group has started to believe, how they have started to feel between them. It is always a process that takes time.

‘It can take one month, six months or one year but the most important thing is they have started to set the principles, start to live like a group of players to create all the links to compete.

‘I am so pleased with that. We are part of this process, to help them to grow, to be more mature and keep improving in every aspect. It is a massive step but it is the step we wanted to reach.

‘Now it is to evolve in other aspects and the possibility to go with tactical evolutions and we can improve from there but without principles, it is impossible to evolve in other aspects.’

Jackson was also very thankful to Madueke, saying: ‘I expected he would pass because we are close friends and team-mates. It was a very good assist from him.’

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