Mauricio Pochettino has praised the commitment of Chelsea midfielders Enzo Fernandez and Conor Gallagher after the duo impressed in the midweek win over Aston Villa.
Gallagher and Fernandez were both on target as Chelsea booked their place in the FA Cup fifth round, with the former opening the scoring with his first goal of the season. Fernandez sealed the win with a fantastic free-kick, a fine response to speculation surrounding his future this week.
Both players have been linked with leaving Chelsea of late, but Pochettino praised the performances of the duo and said it was a ‘matter of time’ before both found form.
“It was only a matter of time. Conor and Enzo are so good, really good players,” Pochettino said at his prematch press conference ahead of facing Crystal Palace on Monday.
“They have great commitment with the team and club. They deserve to feel this way, to feel happy, and show it playing football. These two guys work so hard to perform.”
Chelsea’s win at Villa Park was a strong response to back-to-back Premier League defeats and Pochettino hopes his team can build on that performance and find consistency.
“Yes, I think before also we had some good performance and after we are not consistent enough. Maybe it can be the starting point for us to be consistent and have more often this type of performance.
“Always, we believe that is the momentum, the time to be consistent. I think the players deserve it because they have been working really hard from the beginning of season. This type of result showed the talent, quality we have in our squad.”