Mauricio Pochettino emphasizes the need for a more assertive performance from his Chelsea team to secure more victories, acknowledging his own intimidating style as a player

Mauricio Pochettino has told his Chelsea players they need to be naughtier – just like he was as a player.

Pochettino said he went into the international break disappointed, angry and with ‘bad feelings’ after one midfield mistake condemned Chelsea to defeat against Nottingham Forest.

‘If you watch the Forest game, they won and deserved it,’ he said. ‘But the way that we concede the goal… a team that is going to be involved in European competitions or play to win the Premier League, we cannot concede this type of goal.’

The Forest defeat continued a Premier League pattern – bar their home victory against Luton – of Chelsea dominating games but not winning. ‘We need to be a bit more naughty on how to win,’ said Pochettino. ‘We need to be more aggressive in this type of situation.’

Asked if he had such qualities as a player, Pochettino, 51, said: ‘(I was) really naughty, the worst. I was the most competitive but without the quality that we have in this team. They are much better than me about quality but here (taps head) I was stronger than them.

Mauricio Pochettino jokingly described himself as ‘the worst’ as a player – a quality his players are lacking

‘I need to translate this idea. It’s a joke, always we joke about that. Always with the coaches we think we are better than everyone.’

Pochettino admitted that the dark arts are part of what his team need to add — but only after other qualities. ‘That comes with time,’ he said. ‘The perfection only arrives when you have time, the players know each other and confidence and trust is high and the level of competition is really high.

‘We need to set principles on how we play from the back and press, the evolution of the system. The dynamic of playing with two defenders or three, how many in the middle and how we’re going to attack in the right areas.’


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