Pochettino on Chelsea's plan and how he hopes to improve Mykhailo Mudryk and Nicolas Jackson


Since defeat to Aston Villa, much of Mauricio Pochettino and his coaching staff's time has been invested into ensuring his squad retains their confidence amid a difficult start to the season. The 51-year-old head-coach has been impressed with his team's belief in the work they are doing, despite results not going their way.

While there has been a great deal of turnover in Chelsea's squad, their current form firmly took root last season. The Blues' issues in front of goal have provided a consistent problem across multiple seasons now.

Pochettino knows that confidence will only only come through time - though a combination of goals and wins will surely help - and he has already implemented some small changes in a bid to improve this. The former PSG head coach has spent some time working with Mykhailo Mudryk in the hope of unleashing his best form.

"The problem with confidence is we cannot buy in the supermarket," said Pochettino. "It is about time. You know how it works in the brain. It is about little by little creating situations that can provide the trust and the confidence and the belief.

"One example: today, with Mudryk, I like to play hitting the crossbar from outside the box. He said to me today, no I’m not going to play anymore with you because always you win. I said, yes, because I have the belief. The balance in between belief and quality I know very well because I am 50 years old and you are still young. You need to still know yourself.

"Today was the first time that we draw. Now, you start to believe in yourself, you start to believe in your quality because, if not, it is not good balance in between belief and quality. It is difficult. That is important. That is one aspect that you work on the psychology of the player and can make the difference and provide the players the confidence afterwards to touch the ball and score rather than to go outside and go inside. It’s a small example."

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With little experience in his side, Pochettino has the challenge of managing a number of young personalities still becoming familiar with important roles in the Premier League. Sunday's match saw Nicolas Jackson pick up his fifth yellow card of the season, despite a meeting with Pochettino in the build up to the match.

Chelsea's head-coach was empathetic over Jackson's indiscretion revealed that there will be a punishment of sorts for the Senegal international.

He said: "We talk every day with him. But football is football. When you play football with your friends maybe you are thinking about something and when you start to play you forget. Or maybe we are under stress. But it is about learning. He needs to learn not only in this but in other areas. We are going to see if he is clever enough to adapt and accept advice, and also to learn from mistakes.

"Not really [whether he would be fined]… Not in the way you maybe think. It’s not money. Private [laughs]. I don’t like to talk about money with players. But in a different way, of course."

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Nevertheless, Pochettino is confident in the plan that the Chelsea hierarchy put in place for his arrival. Despite a vast group of young players being added to his squad, the 51-year-old believes the balance to his side will prove good, when he has more of his players to choose from.

He said: "I believe, I really believe. I think the balance is good, but the problem is we cannot show or reflect the balance because we have players who should be important today are not on the team because they were injured. Circumstances that happened on the team that we cannot present…even with all the players fit, maybe you can lose games. But when the circumstances we are in now, it’s about to have patience and to try to recover all the players because I think if you see the squad, I think it had very good balance.

"But it’s true, now, when you see Reece James injured, Malo Gusto out for three games, maybe we need to play with a player who is not a full-back and say ‘oh what is going on?’ Everyone can talk about that the plan is not right, but I really believe in the project - it’s only about time. We only need time to change that perception because we are going to change that perception. Only we need time and start to be more positive and to get some results to increase our confidence."

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