Mauricio Pochettino ‘not worried’ by Chelsea fan frustration


Mauricio Pochettino insists he is not worried about his relationship with Chelsea supporters despite being the target of angry chants from the travelling fans during a 2-2 draw with Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday.

Yoanne Wissa’s overhead kick in the 69th minute to put Brentford 2-1 up was the cue for an outpouring of fury from Chelsea supporters, who sang the names of former owner Roman Abramovich and ex-manager Jose Mourinho while chanting offensively against co-owner Todd Boehly and Pochettino.

Chelsea rallied to snatch a draw thanks to Axel Disasi’s 83rd-minute header, and after the match Pochettino said he and his players will keep fighting to improve the fans’ mood.

“I’ve been told but I didn’t hear (the chanting),” Chelsea’s head coach said. “It was difficult for me to understand but it’s normal. We were losing 2-1 and it’s about expressing their frustration. I am responsible as the head coach.

“I’m not worried. We need to accept this relationship. Someone asked me ‘do you feel the love from the fans?’ No. What can we expect? We need to build the relationship and between the coaching staff and the fans, you build the relationship through winning games.

“At the moment we cannot match the expectation, and if we cannot match the expectation are we going to ask for love? Normally in football you pay with the frustration as the coach or the people above.

“I don’t ask for anything. I’m going to continue to work to try to change this perception and win games. We have now one week to prepare Newcastle, to try to win and keep pushing.

“If they did what they did, it is the frustration. We need to understand that fans are emotional. I am fighting with all my sense to try to provide the team (with) the best tools to work and improve and play in the best way, to score goals and win games. But if that isn’t possible…

“Today is my 52nd birthday. I know very well this business, and I’m never going to give up. I’m ready to fight tomorrow again and after tomorrow, the next game. We are going to keep going.”

A number of Chelsea players showed signs of fatigue in their third match in six days — a week that began with an extra-time defeat against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final — and Pochettino admitted that tiredness has been a big factor in the team’s recent performances.

“We need to manage some realities and I cannot explain every single day why, but we are working really, really hard to try to win games,” Pochettino added.

“The team is fighting. In six days we played 120 minutes on Sunday, another tough game on Wednesday and we are a little bit short in some positions because of injuries or some circumstances that (mean) we cannot refresh the team.

“We tried to find a different way to play, a different system to try to make the team more consistent and to play in a different way, but if that doesn’t work and the fans are disappointed with that I need to respect.”

Chelsea return to action on March 11 with the visit of Newcastle United.

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GO DEEPER

The Briefing: Brentford 2 Chelsea 2 – Watching Toney, Gusto impresses and fury from the travelling fans

(Warren Little/Getty Images)





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