Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea’s manager, has called on his struggling team to “grow up” after a disappointing 1-0 loss to Aston Villa on Sunday.
Gatekeepers News reports that the defeat adds to Chelsea’s troubled season, as they’ve won just once in their last six league games under Pochettino.
The winning goal for Villa came from Ollie Watkins in the second half. Chelsea’s current form sees them sitting in 14th place, just four points above the relegation zone, and they haven’t scored a goal in their last three games.
Pochettino’s woes were compounded by the red card shown to young defender Malo Gusto after a challenge on Lucas Digne. Additionally, Chelsea striker Nicolas Jackson received his fifth booking, leading to a one-game suspension.
Pochettino refused to blame the officials and instead said that both he and his players need to take responsibility for Chelsea’s poor performance.
He mentioned the need for the team to “grow up” collectively and for young players like Jackson to gain experience.
“It’s our responsibility and the players’ responsibility. We can’t blame the VAR or the referee,” Pochettino said.
“The situation, we need to act different, in a different way. I’m not going to blame or say anything against Malo Gusto.
“Situations happen in football and they affect the game and the team in a negative way.
“We need to grow up like a team, not only in an individual way. A player like Nico (Jackson) that is so young, feeling the Premier League and he’s learning, he needs time.”
Despite spending over £350 million ($428 million) in new signings, Chelsea’s performance this season has been below expectations since Pochettino’s arrival in July
Chelsea’s approach of signing younger players with potential has left Pochettino with a relatively inexperienced squad, and he hopes that with time and experience, they can turn things around.
The pressure is mounting on the former Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham boss to guide Chelsea out of their current slump and back to better form.
“In this type of game, we’re competing and we want to win. But players, when they are young, need to learn with experience,” he said.
“That’s why we feel disappointed because we are playing too many situations like this. Another small detail and in the end we are losing the game. We are in a situation we need to change as soon as possible.”