Mauricio Pochettino has said Chelsea must be ‘realistic’ regarding the club’s hopes of securing a top four finish and Champions League football.
Chelsea are 10th in the table after a mixed start under Pochettino this season, with the west Londoners already 12 points adrift of the Champions League places.
The Blues were well beaten at Newcastle last time out and will be hoping to bounce back when Brighton visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Ahead of the clash, Pochettino was asked whether a top four finish was a realistic objective for his side.
“This is mathematical. I think we need to believe it’s realistic, it’s going to be tough to achieve,” the Argentine told his pre-match press conference.
“For now it’s not important to see the end of the season, it’s to see the process and improve every day. That is the most difficult process, to be focussed on today and not tomorrow. That’s one aspect we’ve been working on this week, to try to improve ourselves and try to provide the team with what they need.
“That is a process we need to focus on. We need to realise we can’t think in the end of the season and be more present on how we can improve our condition and possibility to be better every day.”
Chelsea were thrashed 4-1 at Newcastle last weekend, a fixture which saw Reece James sent off. Pochettino has discussed the mood within the Chelsea camp this week as his side look to respond.
“We need to clarify things, realise what happened. I think it was a tough week for everyone. I am very happy because [the players] reacted very well. I was tougher with them inside [the changing room] and outside.
“We have to blame ourselves also. Maybe our approach was wrong and we take the responsibility. We took the week to realise things that we need to improve, to be more consistent, more mature. I am very very happy so far. It was really, really tough in training and meetings but some times, these types of situations help us to improve.”