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  • By Matthew Ferris at Cobham training ground

Chelsea boss Poch on mascot’s misery: It’s not the players’ responsibility

By Matthew Ferris at Cobham

Mauricio Pochettino expressed his disappointment after one of Chelsea’s mascots was left standing alone before kick-off at Anfield on Wednesday.

He said: “That cannot happen on the pitch.

The club is going to do everything to repair the situation.

“It was a tough moment for him because he was like [looking around], he didn’t know what to do and I feel sorry because I didn’t see him.”

He didn’t believe though that his players were to blame for the incident, nor did he want to place any blame on a particular party.

“I don’t believe it is the players’ responsibility because players are so focused on the game and they are not thinking, ‘oh, the guy is alone’. For sure, they were thinking people were coming to take the kid.”

The video of the mascot had gone viral on social media, and capped off what was a grim Wednesday evening for The Blues.

Pochettino was also asked about the danger tomorrow's opponents Wolves pose from set-pieces, and why he doesn’t have a designated set-piece specialist coach.

He said: “It depends on how you want to sell the idea of working on set-pieces – we have a specialist and a group of analysts for set piece, and then it is about quality.

“At the moment we were talking about trying to find for next season a good specialist. Look at West Ham.”

While this prompted a light-hearted question about whether Chelsea would be interested in James Ward-Prowse in the summer, Pochettino was adamant that the quality of the player delivering set-pieces was more important than employing a specific specialist to work with the players.

“Football belongs to the players, not to the specialists,” he said.

Chelsea’s home form is something that should inspire confidence as they return to Stamford Bridge on Sunday - the unbeaten run has now stretched to 10 games in all competitions.

This was much-needed, especially after it had been clear that for some time Stamford Bridge had been losing its fear factor.

While the current record feels miniscule in comparison to the mammoth 86 game unbeaten run that started under Jose Mourinho’s first spell in charge, it is definitely a starting point.

Pochettino said that the focus to change the home form may have come at the cost of their away form though, with his side winning just four Premier League away games all season.

“We were good until after Fulham and Burnley, but we have been so focused to change the run at Stamford Bridge.

“We have had some tough games away from home, but yes I agree we need to be careful and improve our performances.”


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