Poch, Chelsea ‘desperate’ to win Carabao Cup


Mauricio Pochettino said he is “desperate” to win the Carabao Cup and end his wait for a first trophy in English football after Chelsea‘s 6-1 semifinal second-leg win against Middlesbrough sealed a clash against Fulham or Liverpool in next month’s Wembley final.

Pochettino, appointed as Chelsea head coach last summer, failed to win a trophy over five-and-a-half years at Tottenham, losing both the 2015 Carabao Cup final and 2019 Champions League final with the club.

But the former Paris Saint-Germain coach said that winning the Carabao Cup next month would be a huge moment both for him and his young team, who have struggled in the Premier League this season.

“I am desperate to win a title here,” Pochettino said in his post-match press conference. “There is your headline! We won three trophies in Paris in 18 months and we want to win here. I am desperate to win of course.

“Fulham or Liverpool are two amazing teams, so it will be difficult, but now is the moment to believe we can win. It’s an important step for us.”

Only Manchester City have won more trophies than Chelsea among English teams over the last decade, with the Stamford Bridge side having won every major honour, domestically and in Europe, at least once during that period.

But with Pochettino building a young team at Chelsea, he said that the importance of reaching a final is bigger for the players than the club as a whole.

“What is Chelsea and what is the team are two different things,” Pochettino said. “The history of Chelsea, its capacity to win titles, score goals, means it is a challenge to be at this incredible club.

“We have had to build a team from the start of season, so to be at a Wembley final is good. But we have to win it. Chelsea are about winning Champions Leagues, but we are at Wembley and it is important for us and important for the club.

“For this young team, the experience of going to Wembley will be to build the trust and the confidence. For Chelsea as a club, the mentality is already amazing, but for the team it is good for the players.

“We are improving. We are competing in many things again and to reach a final was the first objective of the season.

“We are improving because we are believing. Don’t listen too much when we are not doing well, keep the focus and see the reality as we need to see it.”

Championship side Middlesbrough travelled to Chelsea having won the first-leg 1-0 at the Riverside Stadium, but manager Michael Carrick admitted that his team were unable to cope with a ruthless opponent in the second-leg.

“The game unraveled quite quickly,” Carrick said. “It was pretty brutal really. We came here with hopes, but in the end we got punished for a couple of mistakes.”



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