Mauricio Pochettino has admitted it’s difficult to find consistency with Chelsea this season because of ‘the circumstances’ they have had to endure this season.
The Blues stunned Aston Villa on Wednesday evening to qualify for the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 3-1 victory at Villa Park that saw Conor Gallagher, Jackson Martinez and Enzo Fernandez get on the scoresheet.
Victory eased some of the pressure on Pochettino that has built during their recent Premier League thrashings by Liverpool and Wolves, and a win over Crystal Palace on Monday would show some of the consistency craved by Chelsea supporters.
Pochettino has swapped his starting line-ups frequently this season, sometimes forced through injuries and on other occasions opting to make tactical changes against opponents.
Despite being 11th in the Premier League standings, the Chelsea manager believes his side ‘are improving’,
Mauricio Pochettino believes Chelsea are beginning to show signs of improvement
Pochettino has been under pressure after a difficult debut season in the dugout at Stamford Bridge
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‘It’s difficult to say that is the starting 11 in my mind. With all of the circumstances we have from the beginning,’ Pochettino said at his pre-match press conference.
‘It’s difficult to say that is the starting 11. The important thing is the 11 players are showing. Little by little, we are recovering players.
‘The way we are training, the way the players behave, we are improving. It’s about to win next game and get the feelings we got from Aston Villa,’ he added.
Nicolas Jackson is one of the few players that has shown evidence of improvement while working under Pochettino this season since joining in a £32m summer deal.
Pochettino also hailed Nicolas Jackson’s impact against Villa and believes the player can thrive on the wing
The 22-year-old has scored nine goals in all competitions this season, with his first in the FA Cup coming in the midweek win over Villa where Jackson played off the left-wing.
Despite being a central striker by trade, Pochettino believes Jackson can thrive playing out wide.
‘The starting place, yes from the left but football is dynamic and you have to move. He is a player that can play in that place, this position.
‘He always plays better when he is facing the goal rather than his back to the goal,’ he added.