‘They are going to be better next season’: Pochettino on Chelsea youngsters | Chelsea

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Mauricio Pochettino has said the volume of youngsters at Chelsea has made it harder to guide his players down the right path.

Pochettino, who is determined to build his inconsistent team’s mentality, wanted to talk before Thursday’s home game against Tottenham about the challenge of looking after a squad full of youthful players. The Argentinian explained that helping young players learn from their mistakes was more difficult when the dressing room is so short on experienced figures.

“The most important thing we are going to have is all the conversations with the young players,” Pochettino said. “We cannot judge them because of mistakes. You need to try to ­provide them with good tools. They can make a mistake. But you cannot judge like an end product. You cannot say he is an experienced player, 30 years old, that really knows what he is doing. It is not to judge in the same way as players who are mature and the complete, finished product.

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“We need them to make mistakes. The most important thing is for a coaching staff like us, that we have the energy and knowledge to have conversations with these guys. That you learn from this experience. That is easier when you have one or two or three young kids in the squad. Experienced players can help you also. They can be a mirror to see and learn.”

Thiago Silva’s departure on a free transfer at the end of the season will leave Chelsea short on leaders. However, Pochettino, whose own future is in doubt, believes he is developing his players in the right way.

“I think the good thing after 10 months here is we are part of the process and the leaders of the process to help the players,” he said. “It is true that over the years it is more difficult to find these type of players, like Thiago. We are talking about a 39-year-old. It is not easy to find this profile of player. I think it is about the way we can help as a coaching staff. We are helping and, for sure, they are going to be better and more mature next season.”

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Chelsea are ninth but have hope of qualifying for Europe. Much will depend on whether they can beat Spurs. One complication is a growing injury list. Axel Disasi and Silva are out, leaving Chelsea without 14 players. But Pochettino, who hopes Levi Colwill and Christopher Nkunku will return for Sunday’s home game against West Ham, scoffed at suggestions that his coaching team’s training methods were the cause of the injury problems.

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“We know this business,” he said. “Too many people talk and try to blame someone and create bad feelings. I think after 15 years we have the knowledge and experience to deal with it. We are a group working with the performance area and medical staff – we decide together. We have arrived from a different club, not from Mars, to manage footballers. It is disrespectful and from people bored at home using social media.”

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