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Pochettino on preparing for our “most dangerous game” | News | Official site

Mauricio Pochettino has urged his Chelsea players to replicate the intensity shown in last night’s win over Tottenham Hotspur as we face our “most dangerous match” against West Ham United on Sunday.

Pochettino described our 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge as his happiest victory since taking charge last summer, as his players worked tirelessly in attack and defense to secure the three points.

Trevoh Chalobah’s superb first-half header and Nicolas Jackson’s 14th goal of the season in all competitions put us within three points of sixth-placed Manchester United with four games remaining.

Our excellent derby victory came despite the Blues losing 14 first-team players to injury or health problems.

Levi Colwill and Christopher Nkunku have returned to team training this week, but Pochettino has stressed the importance of recovery ahead of West Ham as he continues to use our academy products in the matchday squad.

“It’s the most dangerous game because now we have to keep the same mentality for Sunday,” said the Blues coach.

“We are playing against a team that is very strong, has physicality and West Ham are having a fantastic season and have been competing in Europe.

‘For us, we need to get the players back. We don’t have too many options to add new people to the team and they have had all week to prepare. That’s why the most dangerous games come.”

Pochettino used his post-Tottenham press conference to highlight the off-ball work of players such as Noni Madueke, as the exciting winger continually put pressure on the opposition and supported full-back Alfie Gilchrist.

The England under-21 international was not alone and the mentality and work rate shown is something that Pochettino wants to continue developing among his squad.

Joining Gilchrist, Chalobah and captain Conor Gallagher in the starting line-up, Academy graduates Josh Acheampong and Jimi Tauriainen, plus 21-year-old Cesare Casadei, came off the bench against Spurs.

And Pochettino said: “The good thing is that the players who are going to return from their injuries really know and feel that they have to make the effort.” It’s not because you’re a big name that you have the right to play however you want. I think that’s the most important thing we learned (from Tottenham Hotspur).

“We learned that it’s not about quality because when you’re at Chelsea we assume you have the quality.”

“The most important thing is to work for the team, give your best and be at your best because if you don’t compete and your level is 50 percent, then it is better for us to have someone with less quality or maybe younger but He is competing at his best level and at 100 percent.

“That happened during the season, where we were missing players and sometimes they weren’t at their best (physically) to compete and really get the result we deserved.”

He continued: “When you come back from an injury, you always need time to improve your condition and play at your best level.” Due to different circumstances or setbacks, we never had the entire team at our best. “That’s the hard thing that sometimes explains why we’ve been inconsistent throughout the season.”

“We can’t blame the players, it’s the circumstances that happened,” he added.

‘The players want to give their best and, due to different circumstances, they cannot express themselves on the field.

“But of course it is important that against Tottenham we show that if we play this way and compete this way, we can achieve what we want.”