MAURICIO POCHETTINO wants his young Chelsea side to become the naughty boys of the Premier League — and embrace the dark arts.
The Blues boss has spent the international break brooding over the soft goal conceded in the defeat to Nottingham Forest two weeks ago — and called for his men to wise up and gain an edge.
GettyMauricio Pochettino wants his players to embrace the dark arts[/caption]
And the Chelsea boss knows what he is talking about from his playing days
But with an ever-growing injury list, he has warned it will take time to school his side in football’s black magic.
As they prepare to go to Bournemouth tomorrow, Poch said: “At the moment my feeling is bad because we are playing well, we are showing everyone we can compete and dominate teams like Liverpool.
“But at the end we need to be more, I say competitive because I don’t want to use another word… we need to be a bit more naughty on how to win.
“We need to be more aggressive in this type of situation.
“We cannot give chances like the teams we only concede one chance to and they score one goal. If you see the data, we are very good in possession, construction and building.
“Only what we are missing is to score goals. That’s the most important thing in football.”
Pochettino, a canny player himself in his day, wants to share his street smarts with his star-studded squad.
The former Argentina defender, 51, said: “I was really naughty, the worst!
“I was the most competitive but without the quality that we have in this team.”
Tapping his head, he added: “They are much better than me about quality but here I was stronger than them.
“Sometimes you need to show more this quality, this mental strength, to have this experience to better deal with some circumstance in the game. Sometimes it’s not about only talent.
“I need to translate this idea. It’s a joke, always we joke about that.
“I was really naughty, the worst! I was the most competitive but without the quality that we have in this team.”
“Always with the coaches we think we are better than everyone.”
Pochettino has a clear plan but getting it across to his squad will take some time considering how thin his training sessions currently are.
Midfielder Romeo Lavia, the £53million buy from Southampton, was the latest addition to the treatment table during the break, twisting an ankle with no date on a return known.
Pochettino said: “It’s a sad situation because he was nearly fit to be involved again with the team.
“Now we need to wait and, hopefully, it’s not a big issue for him and the team.”
ReutersPochettino has told Chelsea to be ‘really naughty’[/caption]
Captain Reece James suffered another hamstring injury before the international break — but Pochettino is confident the full-back will be back before the next one in October.
And once the squad looks a little less limited, the Blues chief is hopeful things can progress quickly.
He said: “The perfection only arrives when you have time, the players know each other, the confidence and trust is high and the level of competition is really high.
“This is all about building every day on the training ground. That is why I am not worried.
“To control the game you need your whole squad fit and involved if you want to control the game.”