Mauricio Pochettino sends message to booing Chelsea fans after FA Cup win: 'Need to trust me'

Raheem Sterling endured an afternoon to forget (AP)
Raheem Sterling endured an afternoon to forget (AP)

Mauricio Pochettino has told Chelsea fans they “need to trust me” after a heated FA Cup win over Leicester.

The Blues booked their place at Wembley with a 4-2 quarter-final victory at Stamford Bridge, though it was from comfortable against the Championship leaders.

Chelsea led by two goals at half-time, as Marc Cucurella and Cole Palmer got on the scoresheet, but a penalty miss from Raheem Sterling set the tone for his afternoon.

The 29-year-old’s tame effort was saved and he then missed a clear one-on-one chance. Sterling did provide the assist for Palmer’s goal before the break, but a dreadful free-kick in the second-half resulted in loud boos around Stamford Bridge.

More frustration followed from Chelsea fans as Mykhailo Mudryk was brought off for Carney Chukwuemeka, with Sterling staying on the pitch for another ten minutes until he was replaced by Noni Madueke.

Asked about the boos aimed at Sterling, Pochettino told BBC One: "We need to support him, he's an amazing player.

“He has more than 10 years experience in the Premier League. Of course I think the contribution was good. He was a little bit unlucky with some actions where he should have scored. But we are a team and we need to be there for everyone.”

Chelsea supporters also aimed their anger at Pochettino. “You don’t know what you’re doing” chants were aimed at the manager, as the atmosphere turned increasingly toxic.

That came after a freak own goal from Axel Disasi and a wonderful finish from Stephy Mavididi had got Leicester level.

Callum Doyle was then sent-off and stoppage-time strikes from Chukwuemeka and Madueke ensured Chelsea did not require an extra 30 minutes, lifting the mood slightly in the stands.

Raheem Sterling’s poor first-half penalty was comfortably saved (Nick Potts/PA Wire)
Raheem Sterling’s poor first-half penalty was comfortably saved (Nick Potts/PA Wire)

It keeps Chelsea’s hopes of silverware this season alive, with an FA Cup semi-final to look forward to next month, but it is clear Pochettino still has plenty of work to do to fully win over the supporters.

“Fans are entitled to show their emotion,” Pochettino said.

“For us we try to emphasise with our fans not to criticise. They want the best for our team and players. But we are in a project. We need support and to really believe. We are trying to build something.

"We are in a process to build the team. I know really well how to manage. What the fans want is to win the game and that we achieved. What the fans want is to go to Wembley and that we achieved. They need to trust me to manage in the way I think is the best way for the club.

"We need to respect their opinion as much as they need to respect my decision."