Pochettino urges goal-shy Chelsea to sharpen up

AFP , Friday 22 Sep 2023

Mauricio Pochettino said his struggling Chelsea side must be more clinical in front of goal after a wretched start to the season.

Chelsea's Argentinian head coach Mauricio Pochettino shouts instructions to the players from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Bournemouth and Chelsea at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, southern England on September 17, 2023. Photo: AFP


The Blues, who are 14th in the Premier League, have scored just five goals in their five league matches this season -- only four teams have netted fewer.

Pochettino, speaking ahead of Sunday's home game against Aston Villa, said his team were not getting the rewards their play deserved, but admitted they need a more ruthless edge to their attacks.

"I think we are playing well but in the last few weeks we need to be more clinical in front of goal, that's why we don't have the points we deserve," he said.

"I am disappointed because I think many teams with less, score more and that is why we feel bad, because the players deserve more, the team deserve more.

"But the only way to find what we want is keep pushing, keep playing, keep doing the right thing that we're doing."

The former Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain boss said he was pleased with the reaction of his players after their defeat against Nottingham Forest and last week's 0-0 draw at Bournemouth.

"They really cared about the club. They really cared to win the games," he said.

Chelsea fans booed their team after the drab goalless draw against Bournemouth but Pochettino said he was confident they would back his players at Stamford Bridge this weekend.

"I really believe that they are going to be behind us, for sure," he said.

"It's normal when you don't win that all are disappointed and show their feelings and their emotions. Cannot be happy after a draw in Bournemouth.

"The players need the support because they need to perform."

Pochettino said he had spoken with Nicolas Jackson to try to address the Senegal striker's discipline after he was booked for dissent for the fourth time last week.

The recent signing from Villarreal has cut an increasingly frustrated figure during Chelsea's early-season struggles, scoring just once.

"We're talking about young players," said the Chelsea boss. "You can blame us, blame me. We can talk about tactics. But they need time.

"It's no doubt we have amazing talent on the team, but now they need time to settle. He needs to be clever not to protest to the referees in this way."

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