Chelsea fans criticized Mauricio Pochettino for a comment he made before the Carabao Cup semi-final with Middlesbrough

Mauricio Pochettino’s comments ahead of Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semi-final with Middlesbrough have resulted in a panning from the club’s fans on social media.

Chelsea travel to the Riverside Stadium to play Michael Carrick’s side for the first leg on Tuesday night, with the second meeting at Stamford Bridge on 23 January.

The Blues have won the competition on five occasions and, given that Middlesbrough is playing a league below in the Championship, are overwhelming favorites for the tie.

However, in his pre-match press conference, Pochettino talked about wanting his side to enjoy the semi-final and not play with pressure.

“The most important thing is we need to enjoy the semi-final, not to feel like we must be in the final,” he said, as per The Independent.

“Football is not about that. You cannot play if you feel pressure and you don’t feel fresh in your mind.

“If you feel it’s compulsory (to win), always with some restriction – you need to take the semi-final as a great opportunity to enjoy playing football, performing well, running, being aggressive, being all together. Not to feel it’s compulsory to go to the final.”

Image: Getty

Yet in saying that Chelsea shouldn’t feel like it is “compulsory” to be in the final at Wembley, Pochettino irked a lot of supporters who did not like his mentality.

One wrote: “This is not a Chelsea manager. Poch ain’t the one for me if he’s talking like this. Nonsense.”

A second commented: “Imagine saying this under Roman Abramovich.”

A third fumed: “Can’t stand this guy. You ain’t at Spurs mate it’s absolutely compulsory for us to be in that final.

A fourth ranted: “Him telling players it isn’t compulsory should be sackable. Infecting our players with LOSER mentality.”

A fifth agreed: “This is a reflection on the owners. Would any manager dare say this under Roman?”

A final user said: “I don’t wanna overreact but this is not what you want to hear from your manager.”

Image: Getty

Chelsea beat Newcastle on penalties in the last round and have won four of their last five games.

Their last trophy was the Champions League in 2021.

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