Poch on Chelsea job: We must win from day one

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LONDON, England — New Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino said he knows he is already under pressure in his new role, admitting the immediate expectation at Stamford Bridge is to win despite the club’s struggles last season.

Chelsea’s 12th-place finish on 44 points in the last campaign was their worst display since 1994 as they struggled under three managers — Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter and interim boss Frank Lampard.

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However, Pochettino outlined what is expected of him in his first news conference since he took charge at Stamford Bridge on July 1.

“My target is to win, my aim is to win. Play well is our style, philosophy and culture. If you don’t win in a club like Chelsea, you will struggle,” Pochettino said.

“With the players we have and the strategy to believe. It’s about winning, being competitive. And translate this energy to our fans. To create the togetherness, it’s a difficult, in the Premier League all together we can be close to win again.”

Pochettino previously enjoyed spells in the Premier League with Southampton and Tottenham, the latter of which he guided to the Champions League final in 2019 before leaving trophyless just five months later.

The Argentine coach said he is not expecting any more patience at Chelsea — a club that has infamously cycled through managers in the past two decades.

“In football, it is difficult to wait,” he added. “At Chelsea you need to deliver from day 1. What we are working now in the training ground is about delivering from now, to give our best. Football is about today or yesterday. We cannot talk long term. We cannot tell people we need six months, I think it is not good. We are going to have a squad of players who can deliver.”

Chelsea’s squad is undergoing a period of upheaval this summer, with nine senior players leaving the club, including Kai Havertz to Arsenal and Mason Mount to Manchester United. The club are also in negotiations over further departures, with sources telling ESPN that AC Milan in talks to sign Christian Pulisic.

However, Pochettino said the significant numbers of players leaving does not concern him.

“I think when I was outside, I was hearing different opinions about Chelsea and the squad being too big,” he said. “For me a fresh start and who is coming to come. I don’t think too much about that. People come in, go out.”

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