Chelsea coach Mauricio Pochettino said he was not worried about his side’s latest setback - a 2-0 home defeat to London neighbours Brentford on Saturday - and he said he took comfort from how the Blues have played against bigger sides this season.
Pochettino cut a frustrated figure on the touchline as his side failed to break down Brentford’s defence again and again, only for Bees’ defender Ethan Pinnock to score in the 58th minute. Winger Bryan Mbeumo then settled the result with another strike in injury time.
“We played Liverpool and we played Arsenal and the team did really, really well,” Pochettino said referring to home draws in August and last weekend in matches that his 1 billion pound ($1.2 billion) side should arguably have won.
“That is why we are not worried. We need to move on,” the Argentine said.
Chelsea has won only one of its last 13 home league games, including matches last season, and the West London side sits firmly in mid-table, hampered by its inability to turn possession into goals.
The loss to Brentford had echoes of a 1-0 home defeat by Nottingham Forest last month when it also struggled to break a resolute defence and was caught on the break for the only goal of the game.
“If you don’t score, you need to blame yourself and we blame ourselves because we were not nasty, or clinical, in front of the goal,” Pochettino said.
His theory that Chelsea performs better against top sides who do not rely on massed ranks of defenders will be put to the test in the coming weeks as the Blues travel to league leaders Tottenham Hotspur on November 6 followed by games against defending champion Manchester City and a rejuvenated Newcastle United.
Pochettino is likely to be able to welcome back midfield lynchpin Enzo Fernandez and winger Mykhailo Mudryk, both of whom were unavailable on Saturday due to minor injuries.
Brentford coach Thomas Frank - who engineered his side’s third consecutive league win at Stamford Bridge - said he thought Chelsea were making headway.
“From the first half, if I was a Chelsea supporter or anyone associated with Chelsea, I would be positive about them,” the Dane said. “I know it’s about results and all that, but I am convinced it will come.”
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