Pochettino rubbishes ‘exile’ rumours and provides Chelsea injury update ahead of Bournemouth clash

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino Credit: Alamy
Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino Credit: Alamy

Mauricio Pochettino has given an injury update on six important players as he looks ahead to Chelsea’s clash away at Bournemouth on Sunday.

The Blues have got off to a somewhat disappointing start this season, winning one, drawing one and losing two of their four opening Premier League fixtures.

Pochettino will hope that Chelsea can turn their form around against Bournemouth, and has emphasised the fact that his team need to ‘compete better’ in matches.

Firstly, Poch gave an update on Romeo Lavia, who picked up an ankle injury in training. It seems Blues fans will have to wait a little longer to see his debut.

“I think we are really disappointed because he was training really well,” Pochettino said about Lavia.

“He twisted his ankle and now we are waiting for Monday to get the assessment from the doctor.”

The manager was then asked if Armando Broja, who has been unavailable since last December, would be involved at the weekend, to which he replied: “No, not yet.”

Benoit Badiashile is also still unavailable, Pochettino confirmed. He is yet to feature for Chelsea this season after picking up a hamstring injury in pre-season.

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Enzo Fernandez, however, is expected to be involved. “We saw [Enzo] today and he is in a good mood. He scored against Bolivia, I think he will be ready,” Pochettino said.

The Chelsea boss is also hopeful that Moises Caicedo will be fit and ready to play. “Moises is a bit later than Enzo, so we will need to assess him but we hope so [he’s ready].”

Finally, on captain Reece James, Pochettino added: “He’s recovering well. He is starting to do things on the pitch with the ball. He’s really well. He’s desperate to return and help the team. I hope he’s close and hope he can be available before the next international break.”

Pochettino was then asked about the spirit within the Chelsea camp, and whether the players are still in a positive mood following their disappointing start.

“Despite the result, yes [the mood is good],” he said.

“That is a process we need to understand. It’s only a matter of time before we can talk in another way where the result will be different. If you analyse the five games at the start of the season, the five we deserved to win but didn’t for different circumstances.”

Pochettino also said that it is better for Chelsea that they are not competing in Europe this season.

“With the circumstances, I think it’s better for us because we have 11 or 12 injured players.

“I think it’s important now that we can recover and be more competitive. But for Chelsea it’s important to be involved in European competition but that is not in my hands now.

“That is the reality. For sure, we are going to be involved in European competition next season. No doubt with the quality we have.”

Pochettino then gave his thoughts on new signing Nicolas Jackson’s performance in Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge.

“For me, the performance was good, only that he didn’t score. As a striker you need to score or assist but we need to think that Jackson came from Spain, he’s young, he needs to build his confidence and trust,” he said.

“He needs to adapt to the Premier League. It’s only a matter of time but he’s doing a fantastic job for the team. He needs to be more clinical in front of goal but I think that is going to happen. No doubt he is a fantastic player.”

Off the back of the poor start, Pochettino was also asked if there was a ‘psychological hangover’ from last season.

“When you see the game against Nottingham Forest and after two weeks, the time we have spent to identify why we lose the game, it’s really tough.

“But it’s nothing to do with last season. We cannot blame last season. We need to blame ourselves. We lose the game because of what I said before. We cannot blame the past. It’s a new era, everything is new, a new season. That is to find excuses, it’s not the way to find them.”

“It’s only the beginning. I want to win. We need to win. It’s too early to give up or say we are not going to achieve what we were talking about at the beginning. We need to keep believing. I think it’s only the beginning.”

Finally, Pochettino shared his thoughts on Trevoh Chalobah, amid claims he has been ‘exiled’ from the Blues squad.

“Of course [he’s still part of his plans]. I am Chelsea, I am the coach and his future is going to be involved in the season is Chalobah. He is in our plans. No one is going to decide for me,” Pochettino insisted.

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