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Pochettino feared sack after Wolves loss
Published on: Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Pochettino feared sack after Wolves loss
Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino
LONDON: Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed he feared the sack after an embarrassing 4-2 defeat against Wolves earlier this season.

Pochettino’s side were booed off and the Argentine was subjected to calls for his dismissal from furious fans after the shock loss at Stamford Bridge in February.

Chelsea’s seventh defeat in 14 Premier League games left them 11th in the table, with Pochettino’s first season in charge teetering on the brink of disaster.

Wolves looked fitter and more committed than Chelsea despite more than £1 billion ($1.5 billion) being invested in new signings by chairman Todd Boehly’s consortium over the previous two years.

It was Pochettino’s lowest moment in his troubled Chelsea reign and the former Tottenham boss conceded it was concerned about his job security at the time.

Asked if he had ever believed he was about to be dismissed, the 52-year-old replied: “I think after Wolves.

“Remember what happened after also,” he added, a reference to a tweet from Chelsea defender Thiago Silva’s wife Bella that appeared to call for his dismissal.

“It was a tough moment that defeat at home. In this moment, when you are a coaching staff you feel the loneliness.”

Pochettino led Chelsea to the League Cup final, where they were beaten by Liverpool, and the FA Cup semi-finals, which ended in defeat against Manchester City.

But it was Chelsea’s spluttering Premier League form that put him under so much pressure.

“You feel like everyone is seeing you like you’re guilty of something that you don’t know,” he said.

“We felt the loneliness. We were alone after the game, waiting. I think we spent two hours (in the stadium). That was the longest time after a game that we were there, looking between us in a very small room.

“We were more sad than thinking we would be sacked. It was an unfair situation. It was a situation we didn’t deserve.”

Pochettino admitted recently that it wouldn’t be “the end of the world” if he was sacked, and even hinted he could quit rather than wait to discover his future once the season is over.

But Chelsea have rallied in recent weeks and go into their last game of the season against Bournemouth on Sunday needing a draw to qualify for Europe next season.

Aware of expectations at a club more used to winning the Premier League and Champions League, Pochettino insisted he would not be satisfied merely with guiding the club into Europe’s secondary competition.

“It’s not enough for us,” he said. “We are not going to celebrate. We are not going to take a picture to celebrate being in fifth or sixth. It’s not enough for the club.”

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