Mauricio Pochettino has praised his ‘growing’ Chelsea team and the performances of Cole Palmer this season.
Chelsea progressed to the Carabao Cup final in midweek after thrashing Middlesbrough 6-1 in their semi-final second leg, overturning a first-leg deficit to set up a final clash with Liverpool at Wembley next month.
The West Londoners produced arguably their best performance of the campaign in midweek and Pochettino believes his team, who host Aston Villa in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday night, are developing this season.
“Before the Middlesbrough game it was all negative but when you score goals it changes,” he said at his pre-match press conference.
“For us the most important thing is that we need to realistic. We aren’t going to change the way we assess the team and the plan for the future but we are happy.
“Performance is one thing and result is different. There are things we want to control better but we are a team that is growing.
“In this moment we have to learn together and scoring six goals is great for confidence. We need to think that every time we have the ball we can score, or try to score.
“Performances have been good since the start of the season but now, if we score goals, I think we win the games that we didn’t before.”
One player who shone during the win over Middlesbrough was Cole Palmer. The 21-year-old has had an excellent first season at Chelsea and took his total to 13 goals in all competitions with a brace at Stamford Bridge.
“We are always optimistic when you sign a player but it’s true he is doing fantastic,” Pochettino said on Palmer.
“He is doing a very good job and we’re happy with the impact and how he performs. You always expect this when you sign a player.
“The way he performs is fantastic because he is helping the team to reach things we want.”
Pochettino also provided an update on the fitness of Christopher Nkunku and Malo Gusto, ruling both players out of Friday’s fixture.
“No, they could be available for Liverpool on Wednesday,” he said.
“We need to see how they evolve in the next few days. But they’re not going to be available tomorrow.”