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  • By Yann Tear

10-day rest very welcome, says Poch after Chelsea's west London derby win




It is not quite the full-on winter shutdown many have clamoured for over the years, but the compromise solution of giving every team at least one week off is fine by Chelsea's boss.


As a 'naturalised' Englishman, Mauricio Pochettino is used to having to deal with a relentless Premier League not copying other European leagues by closing down for a fortnight.


But the Argentine admits this break will be good for his team, as well as for him, as he can take a short break in Spain during the 10-days Chelsea are free of competitive football.


The players will get three days off completely before returning to training.


Saturday's 1-0 victory over Fulham in the west London derby is followed by a wait for the next encounter - against Middlesbrough in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final.


"We need some rest for the players and the staff also," Pochettino said.


"It is a really busy period now and they need to breathe a little bit. This break is very well deserved and then we are going to prepare.


"We are going to have seven days to prepare the second leg of Middlesbrough and then we are going to play Friday in the FA Cup against Aston Villa and then Wednesday again against Liverpool in the Premier League - three different competitions.


"At the same time we need a few days off to protect the second half of the season and then many will be involved in their national teams and many competitions so they need now to have some break."


The Chelsea boss added: "I need to see my family also [in Spain] and of course it's going to be good to change a little.


"You need to be available 24 hours if something happens to be in contact with the sporting director and the owners.


"There is always some things that can happen in this business. But if it [the phone] doesn't ring, it will be much better for me."

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