Mauricio Pochettino: Crossbar challenge helps Mykhailo Mudryk return to form at Chelsea

The manager was speaking to the media ahead of Wednesday’s visit to Brighton in the Carabao Cup, as they look to record just their third win of the season, having beaten AFC Wimbledon and Luton so far this season.

Pochettino describes Chelsea’s problems as not “just” taking their chances in front of goal, which he attributes to a lack of confidence.

Mudryk, who is showing signs of improvement, has remained without a goal since arriving from Shakhtar Donetsk in a deal worth £88.5million in January. The Ukrainian and his manager were spotted kissing after training and Pochettino told an anecdote about his player.

Action images via Reuters

“The problem with trust is we can’t buy it in the supermarket,” he said. “It’s almost time. You know how the brain works. It’s about creating situations little by little that can bring confidence and conviction.

“An example: today, with Mudryk, I like to play by hitting the crossbar from outside the box. He told me today: ‘I’m not going to play with you anymore because you always win.’

“I replied: “Yes, because I am convinced of it. I know the balance between conviction and quality very well because I am 50 years old and you are still young. You must always know yourself. Today was the first time we drew.

“Now you start believing in yourself, you start believing in your quality because otherwise it’s not a good balance between belief and quality. It’s difficult. It is important.”

Nicolas Jackson also came under heavy criticism for scoring just one goal and being guilty of numerous glaring misses.

The £32million Villarreal signing also picked up five yellow cards in Chelsea’s first five matches – the first player in the league to do so – and was handed a suspension ‘a match.

When asked if Jackson had been fined, Pochettino revealed his striker was facing another sanction. “(It’s) private,” he said before laughing. “I don’t like talking about money with players. But (he was punished in a) different way, of course.

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