Chelsea: Mauricio Pochettino to be 'more cautious with my words' after criticising players

Mauricio Pochettino has vowed to be “more cautious with his words” as he looks to be more positive about Chelsea’s plight.

The Argentine last week said his players were “not mature enough” following Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Sheffield United, having seen his side throw away their lead in injury time at Bramall Lane.

Chelsea have dropped points against both the Blades and relegation rivals Burnley, and required a 100th-minute winner to down Manchester United in between, to heavily hamper their chances of qualifying for Europe.

Pochettino, though, conceded that he needs to change his tone amid relentless injury problems and ongoing concerns over his youthful squad.

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

He said: “Being honest, it is true that it is a special season for us because we are suffering [a lot of injuries] at the moment.

“But we need to stop talking because, for me, talking about this in the press conference is so boring. We need to stop, adapt, and accept reality. We need to be positive with the players we have and the young kids who have come through the academy.

“We will try to be competitive and win the game on Monday. We need to accept, be positive and train with young guys from the academy.

“They might step up, and players that we didn’t count on could surprise us and be good players and profiles for Chelsea. When this type of situation happens, another door opens.”

Axel Disasi and Enzo Fernandez have joined an 11-strong injury list, while Raheem Sterling and Robert Sanchez could miss out through illness. Ben Chilwell could return to make the bench.

Pochettino continued: "Chilwell is in partial training with the team, and we are seeing if he can be on the bench on the squad for Monday. It is good news but he has not played too much this season."

Adding about Disasi and Fernandez: "We will see, they are under assessment and have different issues.

“We don't believe they are big issues, but we will see if they can be available. At the moment, they have not trained with the group since Sheffield, so we don't know if they can be involved on Monday."

Pochettino has been forced to name a number of academy players on his bench given extensive injury problems, and said on Friday that the youngsters may be relied upon for minutes during the run-in.

He said: “We work so close to the academy. The circumstances force us to invite young players from the academy every week to train with us, and it is a good opportunity. I agree with you that Chelsea has one of the best academies not only in England but the world.

“I think we are responsible for paying attention and caring about these guys. I think a few of these guys will be in the squad on Monday at 16, 17 and 18 years old.”