Mauricio Pochettino picks out ‘fantastic’ Chelsea star as upturn in form continues | Football

Djordje Petrovic has made 21 Premier League appearances in his first Chelsea season (Picture: Getty Images)

As Chelsea start to find some form late in the season, Mauricio Pochettino has hailed goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic as a great example of how the young team is developing and maturing in the Premier League.

The Blues have won their last three matches, climbing to seventh in the Premier League table and with a good chance of grabbing a European spot when it had seemed unlikely for much of the season.

With two games left to play, against Brighton and Bournemouth, there is the chance for Chelsea to really end the season on a high and Pochettino feels his team are getting better all the time.

After huge upheaval in the squad over the last 18 months, and a lot of young, inexperienced players arriving, the Argentine believes his players are now getting used to the demands of the Premier League.

One of those young players thrown in at the deep end was 24-year-old Petrovic, who arrived from new England Revolution last summer having only played in MLS and the Serbian SuperLiga.

‘Of course we have players improving and getting more mature,’ said Pochettino. ‘They are living their first experience in the Premier League. The goalkeeper came from MLS and is doing fantastic, he is growing and discovering feelings in the toughest competition.’

With a much-changed and fresh-faced squad it was always going to be hard this season for Pochettino, while a long injury list has not helped, but he says success will return to the club soon enough.

Nottingham Forest v Chelsea FC - Premier League

Mauricio Pochettino’s side have made a late charge for Europe (Picture: Getty Images)

‘I want to be honest, too much the history of Chelsea, that is impossible today but in time we will match,’ he said. ‘Our fans are seeing what we are doing, I think, but I think we are doing a fantastic job because the situation, the circumstances are really bad. To keep calm, working and really believe in what we are doing.’

Asked whether Chelsea’s season could be considered a success, Pochettino said: ‘You are punished because of the first 10 games. I want to be positive. Next season, I am going to start and I don’t want to say we are young or talk about injuries. I hope we can talk about the evolutions or in a tactical way.’

There has been some doubt over whether the former Spurs boss will still be in charge at Stamford Bridge next season, but he intends to be.

‘We are planning. We are working,’ he said. ‘We cannot take some comment from my side to put in a negative way. I always try to be positive and try to translate my feelings to you and the people. I never said I wasn’t thinking in the future. We are thinking in the future. The plan is there, to start the pre-season, the data and everything. It is not in my hands to be here or to not be here.’


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