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Mauricio Pochettino makes ‘upset’ admission after ‘private’ conversation following Chelsea 2-1 Crystal Palace



(Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

Mauricio Pochettino had Noni Madueke to thank for Chelsea’s win over Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Wednesday night.

Chelsea left it late against the Eagles as they needed an 89th minute penalty from Madueke to seal a 2-1 win and all three points at Stamford Bridge.

Despite a dominant first half and taking the lead through Mykhailo Mudryk following a dazzling swivel from Malo Gusto in his own half, Chelsea were punished for a defensive error on the stroke of half time as Michael Olise fired home unmarked at the back post.

Madueke was introduced off the bench in the second half and won a penalty in the closing stages, to which he stepped up and made no mistake of converting to ensure Chelsea bounced back immediately from their 2-1 defeat on Christmas Eve to Wolves.

(Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

The 21-year-old has been limited to eight appearances in the Premier League this term, also hampered by injuries, and the England U21 international has been pushing to return to the side for his chance under Pochettino.

He rewarded Pochettino’s trust and faith in him off the bench and now Madueke will be hoping to earn a starting role against Luton Town on Saturday.

Pochettino responded to questions over Madueke not feeling the pressure when he came on in west London.

“He played free,” said the Chelsea head coach. “The difference is he did what we needed in this moment. Go to play and I like it showed that he was upset with me and disappointed with me because he didn’t play too much, also because of his injury. But he thinks yes, now I’m going to show the coach that I can trust in myself.”

(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Madueke and Pochettino were seen speaking at full-time, however the Argentine refused to share the details of the private exchange.

He added: “I think it’s private, talking in this way. They need to show me that I can trust. The mentality is really important, more so in the Premier League. You can’t only play with quality. Of course, you need quality but if you don’t have the right mentality or the right approach in every single day, in training and then the games, it is difficult to perform.

“When you have a young team, it’s about to realise, in the way you can perform, if you go there, don’t think and you are ready to fight for yourself and therefore the team. It was so nice to receive this energy during the game of who we decided to include on the pitch. And then at the end of the game.

“It is about to realise this is the way they need to behave every single day. It’s not that we are bad people, we don’t always want to play some player. It’s because you have the quality and you go there and don’t show the quality or the mentality. Only you can connect with your talent if you show the right mentality.”