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Pochettino focused on taking small steps forward; hoping for good news on Mudryk, Caicedo injuries

Keep calm, and carry on

Fulham v Chelsea - Premier League - Craven Cottage Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images

Chelsea have won back-to-back games for just the third time this calendar year, bringing our grand total of league wins to three (3) in our last nineteen (19!). So it’s probably a bit premature to think that we’ve completely turned the corner now.

But it does feel like we’re moving in the right direction once again, after the false dawn of our preseason performances. And for head coach Mauricio Pochettino, that’s precisely the validation he’s been looking for, after working hard to maintain positivity over our recent results.

He’s certainly not getting ahead of himself, and neither should anyone else, but today’s fairly comfortable 2-0 win against Fulham at Craven Cottage is indeed a small step taken forward — one of many that we need to take.

“It is the same feeling from the start of the season, the difference is the result we got what we deserve. The performance was very good. In the first half I think we play really well. Second half I think we controlled more of the game.

“[We] need to understand young people need time to settle. [...] It is difficult but it is about time, and to be patient. It is to trust these guys, these young talented players. It’s a massive job, a step-by-step but very short steps.

“Sometimes people don’t have the patience but for us it is patience. Even when were losing and not winning at the beginning of the season. We were calm, and believed and were confidence. Now we have won two games in the last few days, I think it is important to be calm, to keep improving, to trust and to build belief and confidence.”

We may have won a couple games at long last, but one habit we still haven’t kicked is the injury-habit, with no fewer than three players hobbling off today. One of them, Armando Broja, seems to have been a planned change on the hour-mark, but Mykhailo Mudryk was forced off at the half and Moisés Caicedo couldn’t quite finish out the game either.

Of the two, Mudryk’s injury seems to be the more concerning at the minute.

“I hope Misha is not a big issue because he feel something in his quad at the end of the first half and hopefully he arrives on Saturday.”

“Caicedo was a contusion but also hopefully it’s nothing wrong. He was tired, but it was a contusion.”

It would be an especially cruel blow for Mudryk to miss any time after it’s taken him nine months to open his goalscoring account (and start playing like advertised prior to his big-money move to Chelsea in January).

“[...] Now we are focusing to try and prepare the game Saturday, which will be tough also. I think It is important for the players to be relieved after two victories. Then we were playing well and we keep working and we keep giving providing them the tools to play well. I’m so happy for the players. Now ready to Saturday but first we need to recover the players and hope its not a big issue so we have a competitive squad for Saturday.”

-Mauricio Pochettino; source: Football.London

There’s another international break coming after next weekend’s match, away to Burnley, so hopefully we can not only keep winning but start improving our injury-situation as well.

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