Every word Mauricio Pochettino said on Chelsea injuries, Palmer, Aston Villa, Arsenal 'disaster'

Head Coach Mauricio Pochettino of Chelsea before a press conference at Chelsea Training Ground
Head Coach Mauricio Pochettino of Chelsea before a press conference at Chelsea Training Ground -Credit:Darren Walsh

Mauricio Pochettino was in a buoyant mood on Friday afternoon as he spoke to the media at Cobham.

Ahead of Chelsea's trip to Aston Villa on Saturday night, Pochettino has only had a few days to work with his players following the 5-0 drubbing they received at Arsenal on Tuesday. There is still a chance for the Blues to qualify for Europe this season but they will need to start picking up points again with just six games remaining of the campaign now.

The Chelsea head coach spoke about injuries, Cole Palmer, Enzo Fernandez, Raheem Sterling, Carney Chukwuemeka and much more in his pre-match press conference. Below, Bobby Vincent has written the full transcript from Pochettino.

Team news? Positive news on Reece James and Levi Colwill...

"No, they are not available yet. They are close. Today and yesterday they were doing some partial training with the squad. They are close but still not available."

Will Cole Palmer be back?

"Yes. Cole was training well in the last few days. We assume he is going to be ready for tomorrow and be part of the squad."

READ MORE: Chelsea get huge Cole Palmer injury update vs Aston Villa with triple blow confirmed

READ MORE: Pochettino sack decision, Mudryk transfer pressure – Chelsea's final six matches assessed

Is it a worry how much you rely on Palmer?

"We can talk, we can talk, we can talk, but in the end this is the reality. Cole is a very good player for us and he is a key player. He is showing we struggle a little bit without him. That is the reality we cannot hide."

Is there a lack of character?

"No, that is not true because we conceded the first goal, of course, after four minutes and then the players, the team was there, we created some chances. The team was in the game.

"Then we started the second-half and after six or seven minutes we conceded the second goal and yes, after then we can talk maybe in the second-half we showed a lack of capacity to believe it was possible. But in the first 45 minutes, everyone believed and everyone that saw the game, the team was there, fighting to try and draw the game, score and we were in the game.

"The lack of belief, with all the circumstances, that sometimes happens. With the disappointment after Man City, and no time to recover, playing against a team that is playing for the Premier League, full of confidence and with all of our circumstances, it was all negative for the team. That is why we suffer.

"We were capable to beat Everton 6-0 one week before playing a fantastic game. We saw two days ago Everton beating Liverpool 2-0 and we were able to play a fantastic game against Man City but we didn't bring the consistency you need to win the game.

"Maybe I repeat too much but that is the truth, the reality. After we conceded the third goal, it was difficult to manage the situation on the pitch."

Do you see the leaders on the pitch?

"It is possible in any team that you can sometimes suffer this type of result and without the experienced players, with leaders or without leaders, that in football can happen. And more so in the Premier League."

What kind of reaction do you want to see?

"We were talking a lot – today we had a meeting and we tried to realise how we need to behave when the game is tough, when the demands are so high. We need to be more strong, to really trust in the way we play, our philosophy, the way we prepare the games and everything to follow. And to have the discipline.

"After the game, I said we cannot blame the players. The circumstances we are living. We need to be positive, be strong and believe tomorrow we can do a good game, a good attitude, a good approach and go there to compete."

Does the win at Villa Park earlier in the season help you?

"It's a different game, different competition. Of course, the end of the season is always the most difficult part. But yes, we need to believe we can compete better. I think we were so soft against Arsenal and we need to repeat and feel the same feelings that when we competed against Man City or Everton and apply to our performance tomorrow."

What makes Emery such a top manager?

"Always the top managers need the top organisations to trust and to provide the tools to perform. For me, I know his career very well because he was in Spain. He is a top coach. And for me, he is one of the best. It's difficult to say who is the best but he is top, for sure."

This must be testing you?

"No, it's not testing me. It's testing everyone in the club. It is about to be strong. I was in different clubs, different periods, different circumstances and of course, they are noisy to deal with, to manage. We are not in the place we want to be, but we are positive and trying to help the team to perform."

Do you speak regularly with the owners?

"No. To be honest, in the last few months, we didn't cross, or message. We communicated through the sporting directors but nothing has changed. We are not changing my view or my feeling, even in the last few weeks we are not crossing texts."

What is the mood like with the players?

"Too many circumstances that make it difficult to manage. Now the problem with Enzo, some circumstances like this. We are talking about trying to be all together but now is another thing that appears and another thing we need to deal with.

"We need to be positive. The only way to move forward is to be positive, never give up in our side, we are going to push, pushing them and trying to get the best from the players we have in our hands."

With Enzo, could he have played on until the end of the season?

"Yeah, but at the moment he feels the pain and he feels the limitations because of the problem. The most important thing is to fix the problem for him. If he does not feel well, he cannot perform because of the situation, it's not good for him, the team or the club."

You weren't here last season but after Chelsea's silverware chances ended, the league form fell away. How can you avoid a repeat of this?

"If you see after the Manchester City game, the semi-final of the FA Cup then of course it is a disaster, the result against Arsenal. That is the challenge. That is a challenge and we are going to try."

Is it hard to motivate players now?

"We are responsible to motivate the players. It is difficult to accept, no? When you play for Chelsea, the motivation is there, even if there is nothing there [to play for], even if you play in a game against your teammates. If you don't have the motivation, it is difficult.

"If you ask me do we need to motivate the players to go again tomorrow or after tomorrow, then I think we have a big problem. I don't believe that is the problem. The problem is about to have the capacity to perform and of course we cannot give them the excuses to not perform and to not be focused.

"But at the same time, we are a group of people, we are not machines. In some circumstances, you lose the reference of the thing but we are here to help to be focused. The players need to be focused because there are still six games to play. For me, they are an important six games and the players need to feel the same."

Do the players have to show that they should still be part of things next season?

"Yeah because it looks like only I need to improve. It is always the coach who needs to improve to deserve to be here next season. We are all responsible for the situation and we all need to improve that we deserve to be here next season. That is a good question."

Carney Chukwuemeka and Raheem Sterling – can we have an update on them?

"Sterling suffered a pain in his lower back. Carney feels something in his knee. Related to his problem before. Hopefully it's not a big issue and they can be available as soon as possible because now we are going to lose two players who were there and thinking can help the team."