Mauricio Pochettino has called on Chelsea to take their ‘massive chance’ of reaching a major final when his side take on Middlesbrough tomorrow.
Chelsea face the second-tier side in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final tie, with the West Londoners a goal down on aggregate after a 1-0 defeat at the Riverside.
Pochettino believes his team deserved more from their performance in the first meeting, and has called on Chelsea to take advantage of the Stamford Bridge crowd in the return.
“It is a passport to go to the final, to visit Wembley. It’s a really important game for us,” the Argentine said at his pre-match press conference.
“We need to show that it’s really important for the club, for us, for everyone. We want to be in the final but first of all, we need to beat Middlesbrough, a very good team that in the first-leg we cannot beat.
“It’s going to be tough like the first half of the leg. We are confident we can have a very good game in front of our fans at Stamford Bridge. We need to take advantage of playing at Stamford Bridge and the energy from our fans.”
Pochettino said his team were ‘very disappointed’ after defeat in the first leg but has backed his team to turn the tie around.
“I think we were very disappointed after the game. When you analyse the game, I think we deserved more but football is sometimes not to deserve; it’s to be clinical, to score goals and to defend strong and to be also in shape. We were all disappointed but we have 90 minutes to fix the situation and try to win.
“We need to respect. We will respect the opponent, they are going to be tough. But it’s a massive chance for us. We have the possibility to go to the final and fight for a title.”