Mauricio Pochettino agrees with Jose Mourinho and makes blunt Chelsea stance ahead of Wimbledon


Mauricio Pochettino has made it clear that his intention is to win the Carabao Cup, despite having to rely on young players to fill his squad against AFC Wimbledon. The Blues boss has noted that Chelsea teenagers will feature on his bench and potentially make their debut against the Dons.

Jose Mourinho famously won the League Cup as his first trophy at Chelsea, and saw the competition as the perfect opportunity to set the tone for the season given it's place in the footballing calendar. Pochettino believes the club's injury situation is no excuse to not progress on Wednesday.

The 51-year-old has previously been accused of not regarding domestic cup competitions in high regard while in the Premier League, during his time at Southampton and Tottenham. Pochettino has been clear since he arrived at Chelsea, that winning is the only option however.

He said: "Of course, it is important, I agree with Jose. It is only because of circumstance at the moment that we cannot put our best starting XI out, but with the players that we have, we need to beat Wimbledon. The players involved in the squad, there is no excuse not to better than them and win the game and be in the next round."

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The former Spurs boss was keen to explain that his intention that he had struggled to convey his message in the past but with more experience, wanted to make himself clear now.

Pochettino said: "No, before I was desperate to win also but my message was maybe not arriving in the best way. Maybe I couldn’t translate it how I wanted because of my language (problems). I was desperate before and I am desperate also. I want to win everything. Every game, even friendly games. If we lose, we are in a sh*t place."

He added: "My message has no doubt. It is to win, not complain about the circumstances, win, win and win."

The Blues head coach has been on both sides of being a giant and an underdog in cup competitions. He believes what is required to progress is intensified in England, and hopes to ensure that is team bring the required mentality to ensure Wimbledon cannot gain a foothold.

Pochettino said: "Always we feel the pressure, even at Espanyol or Southampton. I remember at Southampton we lost in the FA Cup to Sunderland [February 2014]. You [Jesus Perez] made the press conference instead of me. We wanted to use the translator and for Southampton it was a big, big insult because it was like: ‘Oh the coach is not taking seriously the competition’. But, there is always pressure not to win.

"It is true with Espanyol, when we won the cup when I was a player in 2000, we played against Real Madrid in the semi-final over two games and we beat them and after we played the final and won against Atletico Madrid.

"It is about mentality when you play in this competition, even more so here in England, because of the level, motivation, desire and everything. It is too high in the team that is a lower level than you. In games like this it is about matching the energy and desire and the motivation.

"That was always our way to prepare in a lower level team, when you go to play Real Madrid, it is about being emotional, to motivate. It is mental, you cannot get scared about playing, you have to be brave, things like this are really important. If you have one opportunity you need to score it and then defend and then some luck."

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