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Poch reflective after Chelsea defeat
6:32pm Wednesday 1st January 2014 in Sport
Mauricio Pochettino surveyed Saints’ latest defeat against Chelsea and reflected “Rome wasn’t built in one day.”
The Saints boss saw his side get off to a flying start to the season but a tough run of fixtures and injuries in his squad, as well as some good performances that haven’t yielded results, has seen the team pick up one win in their last nine.
A 3-0 New Year’s Day home defeat to Chelsea made it four matches at St Mary’s without a win but Pochettino was in reflective mood.
“It’s clear that we have been facing some of the top sides of late and that has been difficult for us. We have been facing quality opposition and that has been very tough,” he said.
“We aspire to keep on competing and to keep on playing well against these top sides, playing face-to-face against them and matching their strengths with our strengths.
“It’s also clear that we are a young side, we are still learning, we are still maturing, we are still getting experience and the most important thing is that we keep believing in how we play and I’m sure that sooner or later we are going to be reaping the benefits of what we are doing.
“Rome wasn’t built in one day.”
Saints were well in the game against Chelsea before a stroke of good luck handed the Blues the lead. After that the London side dominated.
“It was very disappointing,” said Pochettino.
“Up until the first hour we were playing quite well, we were controlling Chelsea I think quite well.
“We were unlucky with the first goal we conceded – the ball hit Chambers, hit the post and Torres was there to head it in.
“When Chelsea brought on Willian and Oscar that completely changed match. It opened up a lot more spaces for Chelsea and made things very difficult for us.
“Chelsea were feeling a lot more comfortable and it basically revitalised Chelsea and made everything quite difficult for us to get back into the game.”
Saints now have another quick turnaround before facing Burnley in the FA Cup third round at St Mary’s on Saturday, a game for which Pochettino is likely to make a number of changes.
“I am very happy with the players’ performance. I think we played very well up until the moment we conceded that first goal,” he said of the Chelsea defeat.
“After conceding that first goal Chelsea were more relaxed, we had to risk a lot more, open up the spaces a lot more, and Chelsea took advantage of that.
“After a while it was clear that Chelsea showed why they are such a great side – they became a lot more decisive and controlled the game.”
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