Tuesday, May 28, 2024
HomePremier LeagueChelsea boss Pochettino backs Jackson after FA Cup struggles

Chelsea boss Pochettino backs Jackson after FA Cup struggles

Mauricio Pochettino has backed Chelsea forward Nicolas Jackson after criticism of the forward in the wake of the club’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City.

Jackson endured a torrid afternoon in front of goal and was guilty of missing Chelsea’s best chances at Wembley, including a header from point-blank range that was saved by Stefan Ortega.

The Senegalese striker has had a mixed time since arriving from Villarreal last summer, scoring 13 goals in all competitions but enduring some wasteful moments around goal.

The 22-year-old was victim of racial abuse following the defeat and Pochettino has condemned the reaction.

“All public people suffer, more in football, because people hide behind social media,” Pochettino said at his pre-match press conference ahead of facing Arsenal.

“We need to be on social media because it is a good way to communicate with the good fans.

“The most important thing is to be strong and not think that it is a reference about you.”

The Argentine went on to defend Jackson’s weekend performance and said the forward is doing an ‘amazing job’ for Chelsea in his first campaign in English football.

“First season is always difficult for all the players, especially when you are a striker and need to perform and score goals.

“Everyone expects you to score a goal with every touch. He is our main striker, the only striker that we have fit because [Christopher] Nkunku nearly didn’t play the whole season, [Armando] Broja also then moved to Fulham because he wanted to play more.

“[Jackson] is doing fantastic, he’s doing an amazing job for the team, running, scoring goals and giving assists. He’s a young guy coming from Spain and he’s done fantastic.

“If we compare with [Didier] Drogba, yes, he is always going to lose. We need to split the history of the club with the performance of Jackson.

“He has all my support because even if he doesn’t always score, the way he is fighting for the club and his team-mates… he is going to be better next season, no doubt. He just needs to keep going.”

Read – Premier League weekend: Five things we learned

See more – Premier League Team of the Week – Matchday 34

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