Mauricio Pochettino: Crossbar challenge helping Mykhailo Mudryk find his form at Chelsea

Mauricio Pochettino: Crossbar challenge helping Mykhailo Mudryk find his form at Chelsea

Mauricio Pochettino says Mykhailo Mudryk’s confidence is returning after the out-of-form forward finally matched his Chelsea manager in a crossbar challenge game.

The manager was speaking to the media ahead of Wednesday’s visit of Brighton in the Carabao Cup as he looks to record only his third win of the season, having only beaten AFC Wimbledon and Luton so far this term.

Pochettino describes Chelsea’s problems as a “simply” not taking their chances in front of goal, which he puts down to a lack of confidence.

Mudryk, who is showing signs of improvement, remains without a goal since joining from Shakhtar Donetsk in a deal worth £88.5million in January. The Ukrainian and his manager were spotted embracing after training and Pochettino offered an anecdote about his player.

 (Action Images via Reuters)
(Action Images via Reuters)

“The problem with confidence is we cannot buy it in the supermarket,” he said. “It is about time. You know how the brain works. It is about little by little creating situations that can provide trust and confidence and belief.

“One example: today, with Mudryk, I like to play hitting the crossbar from outside the box. He said to me today: ‘I’m not going to play with you anymore because always you win.’

“I said, ‘yes, because I have the belief. The balance between belief and quality I know very well because I am 50 years old and you are still young. You need to still know yourself.’ Today was the first time that we drew.

“Now, you start to believe in yourself, you start to believe in your quality because, if not, it is not a good balance between belief and quality. It is difficult. That is important.”

Nicolas Jackson has also come in for heavy criticism having netted just one goal and been guilty of a host of glaring misses.

The £32million signing from Villarreal has also picked up five yellow cards in Chelsea’s first five matches - the first player in the league to do so - to be handed a one-game ban.

Asked whether Jackson was fined, Pochettino revealed his striker faces another punishment. “[It’s] private,” he said, before laughing. “I don’t like to talk about money with players. But [he was punished in a] different way, of course.”