Pochettino press release: I want people who care about the team | News Official site


Mauricio Pochettino will continue to manage his Chelsea squad carefully in pre-season, insisting his players will not spring into action as quickly as the opposition.

The Argentinian named a youth starting XI for the first friendly of the summer against Wrexham, but they proved more than capable in a 5-0 defeat by the League Two side in Chapel Hill.

Next up is the Premier League summer series and Brighton, who finished sixth under Roberto de Zorbi last season. The level of quality is obvious.

However, Pochettino said he will not pick his squad lightly, considering the player has top-flight experience.

“No, I’m going to join,” the Chelsea manager explained in his pre-match press conference. ‘We have players who need time to train. For example, Enzo only arrived on Monday after a long break and now we play Brighton.

It’s not like we’re playing a Premier League team, so we have to play against a big player. We want to take care of the player and we offer the best equipment for him to be in good condition at the beginning of the Premier League.

Pochettino continued: “We will continue to give the young players a chance to play on Saturday and in the next few games.”

For all the players here, the aim is to get on well with Liverpool. A week before the start of the Premier League, you can use excuses. We have to get in the right situation and for that we have to use the games against Brighton, Newcastle, Fulham and Dortmund.

We have to manage players. Reese (James) arrived in the UK yesterday and it would be easy for me to say go and play, but there is a risk.

Maybe nothing will happen and it will be fine. But if something happens, maybe we have to wait a month or two. So the aim is to provide individuals with the best tools and develop principles.’

Pochettino and his staff are overseeing a 30-man squad in the US this week, with Trevo Chalobah and Raheem Sterling saying the work on the training pitches has been tough but necessary.

Off the field, there’s plenty of time to bond at team hotels. Chelsea’s head coach explained that a smaller squad helped make this easier.

‘The balance is the most important thing,’ he says. Sometimes you get that balance with less than most.

In the end you can only play with eleven players. And it’s not that you can’t manage that situation, it’s the players who don’t play that’s the problem. Where do you get the motivation to be strong every day in practice?

Sometimes players who are not yet involved must be flexible in the team, it is normal that they do not bring good things. First, it will not be easy for them, and it is not fair, and then we cannot ask them to be happy and bring good energy.

‘That’s why we can’t blame the players. We need to be smart, strong, and accurate in our decisions on numbers to compensate for injuries or suspensions. But it won’t be that big because it won’t benefit the team.’

Much has been made of the number of young players in the United States’ opening week in the traveling squad – and Pochettino has been told this will make it easier to manage the squad on matchday.

‘The goal is to win, not just to be good,’ he replied. ‘We need good players for this. If they’re young and competent enough to be on the team, of course, it’s not because they’re easy to manage.

I don’t want to manage simple players. I want players who can play on the field and bring good things and help the team to win. Other things are not.

“I’m not looking for people who are easy to lead. I’m looking for people who care about the team, compete better and have the ability to bring success to the team.”

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