After Chelsea’s scoreless draw with Aston Villa, Mauricio Pochettino talked to the media. After not being able to break the tie on Friday night, the Blues will go to Villa Park to play the FA Cup fourth round repeat.
After scoring six goals against Middlesbrough earlier in the week, Pochettino’s team couldn’t keep up their good play at Stamford Bridge. Emiliano Martinez was in great shape, and both Noni Madueke and Cole Palmer had great chances for Chelsea but couldn’t beat him.
Pochettino will now get his team ready for a really tough test next week at Anfield, when Chelsea play Liverpool in the Premier League. But there will be time to think about the draw for a while. Bobby Vincent wrote down everything Pochettino said after the game, which you can see below.
How did you feel when Jurgen Klopp said he would step down at the end of the season?
“I was shocked when I saw the news today while I was working before the game. Sad because we miss him already. Then, because the first message I got after being fired from Tottenham was from him. That’s not true; I didn’t send him a message. However, I will have a chance to thank him and show my appreciation on Wednesday.
“I believe the work he did at Liverpool was wonderful. We will miss him, but he deserves to rest and leave. Yes, I think it’s bad news for football. There’s no doubt that English football and Liverpool fans will miss him. He’s a great person and a great coach.
What will he leave behind?
“It’s obvious. When he first got here, his first game was at White Hart Lane against Tottenham. I think we played in October 2015, and it ended in a tie. The impact is huge. His charm, his ability to lead, and the fact that he has helped Liverpool build their own philosophy and past make him a great manager.
“I need to congratulate him and his coaching staff and everyone else who helped.” They earn the prize from now until the end of the season.
Does the loss to Aston Villa show that you still need something up front?
“Yes, but for both sides, right?” In attack, they have a lot of great players, but they didn’t score, and we kept a clean sheet. Even games like this happen all the time, and it’s always tough to play a team like Aston Villa. Even though we didn’t score, we had chances.
“When we play like this, I trust and believe in my players, a lot. We will score.” We came from Tuesday, when we scored six. Emiliano, I think the custodian is great; he was really, really good. “Yes, luck is needed sometimes to score.”
How bad is the damage to Levi Colwill?
“No, we don’t think it’s that bad.” A small thing that made him uncomfortable. We thought about not starting with him at first, but he was ready to play. After that, he felt something, but it wasn’t a big deal. I hope he can work out tomorrow.
How well has Petrovic done?
“He’s doing great.” We should give him all the thanks we deserve because he came to Chelsea from the Major League Soccer this season. He is very young and doing well. I believe that the way he is acting in the goal shows how good he is and how great his character is. “I believe he is doing a wonderful job.”
So, how do you think Alfie [Gilchrist] did since he had to replace Colwill before the game?
“That was great. He knew he wasn’t going to play and then he was going to play, which makes it very hard to deal with the stress. When you’re not sure who should start for the young players, you might think too much, which can make them play worse. But sometimes you think too much, like when you had twenty minutes or thirty minutes to spare before the game.
“The kids need time to feel calm and relaxed and not think about the game so much.” He was great. He played well, and he will get better.
Does the fact that he answered so well make you trust him more?
“Yes, of course. I believe it is important for his job. He has to play against other people in the same situation as him. We are giving him the chance. Players from the youth teams should be able to play and show that they are ready to play for Chelsea. We’ll see if he can get to the level we think he can reach. The way he’s making things makes us so happy.
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Was it important for the team to show today that they can do really well?
“I think we showed we could compete in the first six or seven months of the season.” We proved we could play with the best when we beat Liverpool in the first game of the season. Next, we beat Arsenal, City, and Tottenham. We showed that in too many games.
“We didn’t show that we could do it game after game in the first half of the season, or the first seven months.” After some changes, it looks like we are performing better every time. It was only the loss to Middlesbrough away from home that was upsetting. We want to compete by getting better, and now we have a great chance to go play Aston Villa and try to fight. It will be good for this young team to have this chance to show that we can play with a top four Premier League team that is doing really well. It’s important for our confidence, I think.