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January signings, Andrey’s future, Nkunku & Sanchez fitness latest: Pochettino previews Carabao Cup semi-final vs Middlesbrough



(Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)

Mauricio Pochettino previewed Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semi-final tie against Middlesbrough.

Chelsea head to the Riverside Stadium on Tuesday night for the 1st leg as they look to bring back an advantage to Stamford Bridge later this month.

Pochettino is eyeing silverware in his first season at Chelsea and they have a glorious opportunity to reach the Wembley final after being drawn against Championship opposition, while Liverpool and Fulham battle it out in the other semi-final.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Here is what Mauricio Pochettino said ahead of Middlesbrough vs Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semi-finals.

Team news

“To have the same squad tomorrow. Nothing new [on injuries].”

Christopher Nkunku latest

“It’s not related with previous injury, it’s a different problem. Small issue in hip. Six months from his injury. He was involved in a few games. Now it’s to be cautious. Not involved tomorrow. Saturday? Not sure.

“Hope it’s not a long period. He is not training, he is recovering. It’s not a big issue.”

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Signing new striker

“We have Broja, Palmer, so many players who can play in the striker position. I am very positive and happy with the squad. If something appears, we will announce. At the moment, we are assessing and working normally.”

January transfer talks with sporting directors

“We keep a good relationship. Everything is going well. Conversations that we need to have, if we decide something we will announce. It’s not like this (needing to sell to bring in). Too many rumours with different things can go around.”

Message to squad ahead of Middlesbrough

“The message was the same against half-time vs Preston. We need to match the energy. It’s a different game because it’s 180 million (laughs), oh my goodness! 180 minutes! It’s to have a different approach.

“It’s going to be tough. Watching the game against Aston Villa. They lost, but they could (have won) the game. They have good players, good coach. It’s going to be tough.”

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)


“Our approach, we need to change. No VAR. It’s the referee who is going to decide. It’s a different game with and without VAR. We need to be clever in this way.”

Good result from first leg

“It’s important to get a very good result knowing it’s going to be tough. We need to go there to start in a different way (than we did vs Preston). Now, watching Aston Villa there, it’s a good example that it’s going to be very competitive.”

Andrey Santos’ future

“Andrey is now going to Brazil to join the national team for a month. During this time, we will decide if it’s good to move on loan or stay with us once he comes back from Brazil.”

Robert Sanchez injury latest

“We saw him, he came from a scan. We need to see the doctors and assess. Today we will have a clear idea. No, no, no (surgery). It’s the pace of the evolution and how he can improve from doing treatment to starting on the pitch.”

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Malo Gusto

“He’s doing well. I am so happy with him. It’s always to adapt, learn and improve. We are in good process. I am so happy he can perform now that Reece is out, it’s a good contribution for the club and team.”

Reaching the final and winning silverware

“It’s important for Chelsea, its history is to win games and trophies. We have in front a very good opportunity (to reach a final). We were talking today with the players, it’s about first to perform tomorrow if we want to reach the final.

“Tomorrow is the most important game. Tomorrow we need a victory (to bring back to Stamford Bridge). We (also) need to respect the opponent.”