Every word Mauricio Pochettino said on Chelsea future, Reece James injury, Todd Boehly comments

Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino speaks during his pre-match press conference -Credit:Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC

Mauricio Pochettino is nearing the conclusion of his debut season with Chelsea.

The Blues head coach, who was appointed into his role just shy of 12 months ago, has three more games left to try and cement a place in Europe for next term. Pochettino will see his position as head coach reviewed at the end of the season, as was always the plan, understands.

Pochettino, though, seems calm heading into Chelsea's Premier League clash with Nottingham Forest on Saturday evening. He spoke to the media at Cobham on Friday morning, where he looked ahead to the match and touched on a number of other topics – as you can see in the full transcript below.

Team news?

"We need to assess today some players that maybe can be involved tomorrow in the game. But yes, happy because it's true that we are in the last week and we are going to be in the last week of the season with nearly all of the players fit and available. It's good to see the future and be more optimistic."

How disappointing has the injury record been this season?

"Yes, so disappointing because when you arrive to a new club, a new project, you always want to work with the whole squad; to have everyone fit and create a dynamic to increase the level and to improve every single day. That was impossible this season.

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"But we need to assess why, we need to do better and we need to improve in all of the areas. In football, you cannot stop thinking in different ways. It is a good challenge for next season, to start the season, to increase the possibility of the players [being fit]."

What's the latest on Reece James?

"We need to see today but maybe he can be available to be in the squad."

Cole Palmer has been nominated for Premier League POTY and YPOTY. Does he deserve to win?

"We will see. What he has achieved is massive. He is a winner, even if he does not take the trophy. For me, he is a winner because the level he has achieved is amazing for us, amazing for his teammates and amazing for himself. We will see what happens but what he is doing this season is fantastic."

Is there a positive mood around Chelsea at the moment?

"Yes, it is good. It has been always, throughout the whole season at the training ground. I cannot say this in another way, I need to be fair. It is true that some good results in the last few weeks increase our belief and of course when you win games, it is always different.

"The performances have been good, also. With the circumstances, with 12 or 13 players out, it always gives more value to the performances and the victories. The team is ready to face the last three games.

"It is important for us. It is an important objective to try to be in Europe and of course, we are focusing on the next game. That is tomorrow against Nottingham Forest."

Would you be better off not qualifying for one of the 'lesser' European competitions and focusing on the project?

"Always to achieve something like this is important for every single club. With all of the circumstances and reality we were living with this season, I think it is an objective that is there.

"It's true it's going to be hard to get but the most important thing now is to repeat our performances from the past few weeks against Nottingham Forest and not to think too much. We know very well that if we win the last three games, we could be in a place that can allow us to play in Europe next season."

Were you pleased with Todd Boehly's comments this week?

"He described the reality, no? Yes, I think always Todd was very good with us, even when it was a tough moment, he was always very positive through the messages and in a private way. But to be public now, if the owner is happy it is much better for the club, for the fans, but for the players, also."

Are you looking to set the team up with an inverted full-back in the long run?

"It is momentum of the team, the characteristics of the player. With an inverted full-back or not, playing with a full-back in the higher pocket, the half-space. What we find is a group of players that feel really well and the team is feeling well. It is not about the names that are going to be on the pitch.

"When you start to evolve and step up, start to work on the priorities, every single possibility to try to do on the pitch in a different tactical work, it is always going to be positive. This type of situation [with the inverted full-back] can help in different ways because we miss some players in that position or to cope with the lack of full-back on the right side because of Malo [Gusto] or Reece [James] or to compensate.

"It is always about our creativity, as coaching staff, like all coaching staff, to try and find the best strategies to help the team do what we want. This type of situation that you want to apply, you need the right attitude, the right balance, the profile of the player, the characteristics.

"When all of this is there, you can try anything and for sure it is going to work. Without all of these, it is always difficult to apply tactics."

We have seen development with lots of players, what has been the biggest development this season you've seen?

"There's so many things. First of all, you need to realise you are at Chelsea and the demands of Chelsea is completely different to other clubs. We have players with potential to be amazing players. Potential means we are talking in the future, not in the past or the present.

"Also, there are many foreign players needing to adapt from coming from outside. Then it's to deal with your reality change, when you arrive here for all of the reasons we already know and then to build a team – a team that can behave like a team.

"It's not to put 10 people in this room and expect them to all be friends. With the time and patience, they start to link and to bond, to create this complicity that is so important to translate to the pitch."

You're known for your great man-management. How have you found managing so many players that aren't on the pitch?

"The quality, your personality, we are a coaching staff that are very supportive and try to understand. At the same time, we are tough people because we always try to help and to push them to achieve their best level.

"It's not always nice. But I think through our experience and quality as a coaching staff, we try to decide for every single player because every player is different and all suffer in a different way with injuries. Try to personalise the way to talk, the way to approach, to communicate and to help with different players."

What can you expect from Reece James in the last three games?

"The most important thing is that he is going to be there with us. Always to have your captain is a massive boost for any team. Then because we have an amazing relationship and he is an amazing player.

"I know it is not easy always to come from a long-term injury. The most important thing is that he can be available and be a part of the squad and then if he can play five, 10, 15, 20 [minutes] or half an hour, it is going to be amazing. It is unlucky it is only the last week and we have three games. It is important for good feelings and for him it is going to be amazing to be involved."

Do you know when you will sit down with Todd Boehly at the end of the season?

"The way we work is to sit with the sporting director. We are already working to plan the pre-season, the pre-season tour, to start the pre-season here. We had some meetings and we are working with the responsibility to organise the next season and of course working in the future."

Can we expect you to be here next season?

"Look, it's not important. The most important thing is to keep going, working if we are all happy, not only the owners happy with us, or the sporting directors with us, or us, with all the organisation that the club is building here because of them we are all under assessment.

"If we are happy, perfect. But it is not only if the owners are happy or the sporting directors are happy. If we are happy, you need to ask us, also, because maybe we are not happy and we accept the situation and then we are not happy and we need to split. It is not going to be the first time the coaching staff at the end of the season decide to not keep going.

"But at this end, it is always the opposite way, it is always the owners or the sporting directors. They can say tomorrow, maybe I can say 'I want to leave'. It is two parties to make a decision.

"Because Chelsea is not happy, the owners or the sporting directors. Maybe we are not happy because we arrive here with a job to do and in the end it has not happened what we expect. Maybe we are not happy. I am not saying I am not happy but it is always one side and maybe [we need to look at the] other side."