Mauricio Pochettino said he was pleased with the performance of his side after Chelsea began their pre-season preparations with a 5-0 win over Wrexham in North Carolina.
Chelsea cruised to a comfortable win over the National League champions despite starting the game with a team who had an average age of just above 19. Ian Maatsen – who impressed on loan at Burnley last season – scored twice in the first half.
The west Londoners added three goals in the final 10 minutes to record an emphatic scoreline, with Conor Gallagher, summer arrival Christopher Nkunku and Ben Chilwell all on target.
Pochettino reflected on the win and said he was ‘happy’ with the performance of his players, though insisted there was room for improvement.
“Like always after a pre-season game, I’m happy because of the attitude,” Pochettino said, as per the club’s official website. “But, of course, it is time to improve.
“I think it is part of the process in this period to learn in the way we want to play and, of course, build the physical condition also. I am happy with the performance.
“I think the most important thing now is to get positive feelings and to start to play again after the holidays. All the players came in at different levels and now it is about putting them all at similar levels to try to compete for the season.”
Pochettino discussed Chelsea’s contingent of youngsters and said it was important to give the club’s best prospects an opportunity to impress. He reserved praise for Cesare Casadei, Andrey Santos and Carney Chukwuemeka, as each look to earn a role in Chelsea’s new-look midfield.
“It is good to have the opportunity to see all these young guys who can show their quality,'” he added.
“It is important for them and for us to have a real assessment. For sure all have quality, they need time and space to show they can compete for a place in the squad. The profile is very good, the two names (Casadei and Santos) and Carney (Chukwuemeka). They have the profile, only they need time.
“They are young and we cannot forget we are in Chelsea, the pressure is always to win. They need to have the place, to have time to evolve. But yes, the profile is good.”