‘Maybe not now’ – Mauricio Pochettino makes admission over Chelsea’s top four hopes

Mauricio Pochettino is unsure when Chelsea will become top four contenders (Picture: Getty)

Mauricio Pochettino admits that Chelsea are ‘maybe not now’ contenders to finish in the Premier League top four.

The Blues suffered a 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on Wednesday and sit 10th in the table after their opening 15 games of the season.

Chelsea are already 11 points behind fourth-placed Manchester City and their hopes of landing a Champions League spot are looking increasingly unlikely.

Pochettino, who arrived at Chelsea this summer after their poor 12th-placed finish last term, has now suggested his side won’t finish in the top four this season, although he plans to get them there if he is given time to turn things around.

‘We are going to challenge [for the top four], yes,’ Pochettino said. ‘Maybe not now, but for sure in the future.

‘Who knows [when that will be]. I hope as soon as possible.’

Pochettino feels his ‘most difficult challenge’ as Chelsea head coach is to make his newer players ‘find their place’ at the club and ‘belong’ to the team.

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Many stars have come and gone recently with Chelsea spending over £1 billion on transfers since Todd Boehly took over from Roman Abramovich in May 2022.

‘There are a lot of players that arrived with contracts longer than us,’ Pochettino added. ‘Now it is not only to bring in a player, it is to work with them and to put it all in context to create a dynamic and to create a team.

‘That is the most difficult challenge we have, we have talented players but we need to create this platform where they find their their place and start to feel they belong to this group and the team and the club.

‘I think they are all improving because they know exactly what we expect from them. When we talk about young players they need to be in a place to feel comfortable and feel the confidence.

‘We cannot forget we are at Chelsea where the pressure is massive. We know what we need to do.

‘It is a matter of time, sometimes it is six months, one year or four months. I think we are sure, we are building something that will pay off.’

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