Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino
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Pochettino admits Carabao Cup aftermath toughest period of his Chelsea reign

Mauricio Pochettino has admitted the disappointment of the club’s Carabao Cup final defeat has been the toughest period of his Chelsea reign.

Chelsea lost in extra time to Liverpool at Wembley last weekend as Virgil van Dijk’s 118th-minute goal settled the Carabao Cup final. The west Londoners missed a host of good chances against an inexperienced Liverpool team, with Pochettino facing criticism for the club’s failure to win the trophy.

Pochettino’s side bounced back with a hard-fought win over Leeds in the FA Cup fifth round in midweek, with the Argentine admitting the past week has been the most challenging of his time with Chelsea.

 

“Maybe yes, because we feel disappointed and we have faith in our ability to win,” he said at his pre-match press conference ahead of facing Brentford this weekend.

“We were so close and after 90 minutes I think we were the best side. But we didn’t keep the energy after 90 minutes and I think this is why we lost the game.

“We met after the game in a different place than Wembley and the players started to feel. In some points they were disappointed and it was painful but by Tuesday and Wednesday they were ready and wanted to play. That speaks very highly about our squad and our players.”

 

On what he’s learned from his Chelsea squad in the aftermath of the cup final defeat, he added: “What we’ve learned from them is that they are learning. They are learning to compete all together, see other, feel each other and know how they behave in these moments. After seven or eight months we already know the profile of the players but it’s important for them to know each other, especially in these high pressure moments.”

Read – Moments that made the Premier League: Chelsea’s final-day victory ushers in the Abramovich era

See more – Palmer ‘loving’life with ‘freedom’ at Chelsea

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