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  • EXCLUSIVE by Alessandro Schiavone

Nemanja Matic (Exclusive): If the worst is behind Chelsea? No, they can still get lower. And Caicedo needs time

Exclusive by Alessandro Schiavone in Lille

Lille 3-4 Lyon at Stade Pierre Mauroy

For Nemanja Matic Chelsea have what it takes to seal a Europa League place.

Mauricio Pochettino's resurgent Blues are two points adrift of sixth-place Newcastle with two games left.

The Serb is impressed by Chelsea's youthful exuberance and thinks the club is going in the right direction.

But he also added that not featuring in European competition next term could have its perks.

Ahead of the Blues' trip to Nottingham today, Matic told Capital Football: "I think Chelsea will be better and better with each game because they are such a young team.

"So I am not surprised that they are now in better form. There are two games left and if Chelsea win them both the Europa League is possible.

"But sometimes it is better to be focused on the league because as I said in the Premier League every game you play is [like] a Champions League game.

"It's always good and interesting for fans to play European games but it depends."

Todd Boehly's club finished 12th last term and have been nowhere near the top-four this season.

Asked whether the worst is behind them, Matic warned that the division's competitiveness spares no team.

He said: "Chelsea can get lower because in the league there are 20 teams.

"That's football, the Premier League is hard and every team has quality so it's hard to play.

"When you have such a young team like Chelsea's today it's not that easy.

"It's a process and they need some time."

Matic, who spent three-and-a-half years at Stamford Bridge before joining Manchester United in 2017, is confident his successors Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez will eventually come good.

He added: "Moises is a good player who played amazing football in Brighton.

"But expectations are high now, it's normal for young players to have ups and downs so people need to be patient.

"While Enzo is a good player, I followed him also in Benfica. He has the character to lead the team."


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