Mauricio Pochettino aims dig at Gary Neville as Chelsea beat Leeds | Football

Mauricio Pochettino has fired a message to Gary Neville (Picture: Getty)

Mauricio Pochettino aimed a dig at Manchester United hero Gary Neville after Chelsea’s 3-2 win over Leeds United in the FA Cup on Wednesday and has urged Mykhailo Mudryk to understand that football is a ‘collective sport’.

Conor Gallagher’s 90th-minute winner saw the west Londoners return to winning ways after losing the Carabao Cup final to Liverpool on Sunday.

Chelsea will next face Leicester City in the quarter-finals and Pochettino could not help himself from hitting back at Neville after his team’s victory over Leeds.

Neville angered Chelsea fans by labelling the club ‘billion-pound bottlejobs’ after their loss to Liverpool and even Jurgen Klopp issued a defence of the Blues.

Pochettino, speaking after Chelsea’s win against Leeds, told ITV: ‘I think if you are talking about my friend Gary [Neville], I think he was frustrated because Liverpool won another title. That is the truth.

‘I think it’s not fair to accuse people in this way, with a team that’s very young. The expectation is massive because we are Chelsea but this team needs to build and build the confidence. The unity is starting to grow, it’s not magic, you can’t just create it.’

Meanwhile, Pochettino fired a message to Chelsea star Mudryk, who scored in the first half.


Mauricio Pochettino shared his thoughts on Mykhailo Mudryk (Picture: Getty)

‘Mudryk has amazing talent,’ Pochettino added. ‘But he needs to understand that football is a collective sport. You put your talent in the service of the team. For that, you need time. [But] it’s not only Mudryk.

‘There are a few other players, because they are so young. They [sometimes] forget they need to recover their position, press and work hard. Of course, it is important he scored to build his confidence.’

Speaking more generally about Chelsea’s win, Pochettino told the BBC: ‘I think in the context of the week, I am happy.

‘Amazing effort from the team, it wasn’t easy. Leeds are a very good team, one of the best in Championship. The performance wasn’t great but we scored at the end and won the game.

‘Of course, it is about building our confidence again. When you face a team like Leeds they are full of confidence and it is not easy when you start losing the game.

‘But, I think this type of game like the final is a good experience to be better every single week. The team is in good spirit and the relationship with the players is in a very good way.’

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