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“We are our own worst enemies” – Pochettino’s issues damning but motivational message to Chelsea squad



(Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Mauricio Pochettino has told his Chelsea squad to put more focus on themselves than their opponents after admitting they are their “own worst enemies”.

The 51-year-old has been in a ruthless mood this week after Chelsea were thrashed 4-1 by Newcastle United at St. James’ Park, which saw them finish the game with 10-men following captain Reece James’ dismissal.

Pochettino was angry and disappointed at Chelsea‘s application and capitulation, particularly in the second half, threatening his squad of cancelling their days off to head back to Cobham to begin preparing for the Brighton match earlier than planned.

“We were talking in the dressing room after the game, we should go directly to the hotel and sleep, and start to train early in the morning and not have a day off,” said Pochettino post-match on Saturday.

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Pochettino has been pleased with the response and reaction that his players have shown this week during training at their Cobham base.

On what needed to happen this week, Pochettino said: “To clarify, to realise what happened (against Newcastle). It was a tough week for everyone.

“I am very happy because they’ve reacted very well. When you watch the game, it was worse than my feelings after the game. I was tough with them inside and outside.”

The Chelsea head coach continued: “It was good the week to realise what we need to improve, to be more mature. I am very. very happy, so far, even if it was really, really tough in training and meetings. Sometimes these situations help a lot to improve.”

Brighton travel to Stamford Bridge seven games unbeaten. It doesn’t concern Pochettino. He is more focused on Chelsea’s problems and has made that abundantly clear to his players about how they need to approach Sunday’s game and beyond.

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He concluded: “We are our own worst enemies. We need to focus on us. The problem is not going to be Brighton.

“In this process, we need to pay more attention to ourselves than the opponent.”