Mauricio Pochettino guided Chelsea to a 6-2 aggregate victory over Middlesbrough in their Carabao Cup semi-final; Argentinian failed to win silverware in charge of Southampton or Tottenham but did win three trophies with PSG; “I am desperate to win a title here,” admitted Pochettino
Pochettino ‘desperate’ to win trophy in England after guiding Chelsea to Carabao Cup final />
Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino has urged his side to go on and win the Carabao Cup after they thrashed Middlesbrough to reach the final
Mauricio Pochettino has admitted he is “desperate” to win a first trophy in England after leading Chelsea to the Carabao Cup final.
The Blues will play either Liverpool or Fulham at Wembley on February 25 after overturning a 1-0 first-leg defeat by thrashing Middlesbrough 6-1 at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.
Pochettino will now have the chance to win a first trophy as a manager in England, with his failure to lift silverware during five years with Tottenham the nagging criticism from his time in north London.
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The Argentinian pointed to the three trophies he won during his time in charge of Paris Saint-Germain before joining Chelsea, but conceded: “I am desperate to win a title here.
“We won, in one year and a half in Paris, three trophies. We want to win here, of course.”
Pochettino reached the 2015 Carabao Cup final during his first season in charge of Spurs but his side lost 2-0 to Chelsea, while they also lost the 2019 Champions League final to Liverpool.
Poch: People need to believe in us
Highlights of the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg between Chelsea and Middlesbrough
Speaking to Sky Sports after the clinical victory over Boro, Pochettino said it was “really important” for his side to reach the Carabao Cup final.
Chelsea failed to make it past the third round in the Carabao Cup or FA Cup during a hugely disappointing previous campaign, while Pochettino named just three players over the age of 25 for the semi-final second leg on Tuesday.
But discussing the impact of a trip to Wembley on his young team, Pochettino said: “Sometimes we can think about the history of Chelsea and the missing players. We are young and we need to grow.
“These types of games are a good experience for young players and it is about now growing and it will help us to compete.
“We are building a very good team. The mentality is good. We have plenty but we need time.
“It is a new project. We are building a team and sometimes it is normal to play worse. We played well and we didn’t win but now it will be a big boost for us.
“People need to believe and trust in us and we go to the final with the chance of winning the first trophy of the season.”
Neville: Trophies can accelerate Chelsea journey
Gary Neville believes it could be the start of success if Chelsea go on to win the Carabao Cup this season
Four of the six goals Boro conceded came after Chelsea pressed them into errors in their own half, with Michael Carrick accepting responsibility for the mistakes after the match.
Chelsea raced into a 4-0 lead before half-time and, speaking on Sky Sports, Gary Neville said: “It was unthinkable that Chelsea could go out of this competition and Middlesbrough would go to the final.
“Chelsea just had too much for Middlesbrough. The visitors contributed to their own downfall but the quality was still there from Chelsea.
“They have an opportunity now to do something special at Wembley against either Fulham or Liverpool.
“Sir Alex Ferguson used this competition as a springboard at times at Manchester United. In 2006, when I’d just taken over as captain, it was the first trophy that I lifted. We’d been barren for three years during the Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger and Rafael Benitez period. It was a really strong Premier League and we just couldn’t get close to them for a few years.
“On our way back to winning the Premier League in 2006/07, we beat Wigan at Cardiff to win the League Cup in 2006. It was a big moment.
“When you’ve won the league, the Champions league and the FA Cup, the League Cup is maybe the inferior tournament but as a stepping stone for building something, getting that medal around your neck and being on that podium, it was really important to us.
“We shouldn’t underestimate how important it will be for Chelsea if they can go on and beat Fulham or Liverpool in that final in four weeks’ time, for Todd Boehly and the confidence of everything that is happening at the club because it’s been a really difficult period of transition from Roman Abramovich into this new ownership.
“Chelsea have a new everything and winning trophies is what will accelerate their journey.”
‘Getting a winner’s medal makes you feel like you belong’
He added: “Obviously it is going to be difficult, particularly if they play Liverpool, but if they can win a trophy, these young players in particular will gain so much from it. From my experience, getting a winner’s medal, it made you feel like you belonged.
“All of a sudden, you are a winner and you’ve delivered. You’ve got rid of that tag of being nearly men or not being able to get over the line – all those things that get levelled at you when you don’t win a trophy.
“Sometimes it’s a little harsh because there are only four trophies to go around every season, but it has been levelled at the Pochettino in this country.
“It’s a big, big game for the manager, the ownership and also for the players. For the young players, there is nothing that will give you more confidence than winning – winning a medal and winning a trophy. It will have a big impact on your life let alone your career, because it is something you never forget.
“Confidence is everything in football and also in life. If you believe, and it is not just about your own belief, but it’s about the belief the fans have in them, the belief we have in them and also the manager.
“If they can go and win in a big moment, which is what Chelsea have done for many, many years. They have been a winning club and that hasn’t always been with beautiful football. They’ve had to dig in at times and under Abramovich they just created this winning mentality.
“If they can do that here, even in transition, that will give them confidence that this Chelsea project of the last 20 years can continue under Boehly and co.”