Reece James is set to start just his second match of the season, and the first since opening day way back in August, when Chelsea take on Blackburn Rovers tomorrow night at Stamford Bridge, in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.
Head coach Mauricio Pochettino confirmed the good news in his pre-match press conference this evening (while also confirming that Mykhailo Mudryk will not be available for the second successive game, and maybe a third, too).
“I can confirm that [Reece James] is going to start. I am going to confirm only one player and yes it is the captain. He is ready. It is good for him and for the team to start from the beginning of the game.”
As far as the rest of the starters, it sounds like we will not be leaving anything to chance (at least in theory), and play with our best available lineup against the midtable second tier opposition.
Hopefully everyone will want to respond properly after the poor performance last time out, in the 2-0 defeat to Brentford, and start a new run of good results and performances to match.
“A competition like the Carabao Cup or FA Cup is really important for us. Tomorrow we are going to try and play with our best team. Some players that maybe we need to rest because we need to do some rest because after Saturday’s game, we cannot take some risk. In general we are going to try to put our our best team.
“[We] were not able to keep the momentum [against Brentford] but of course, it’s about keeping believing. [...] The most important now, is the game. To go step by step and that is important for us. To go through the competition, I think it is important and to try to build another momentum and after we go to Tottenham and receive Manchester City with the trust and the confidence we can beat them.”
At the very least we need to play better than on Saturday. We can only trust the process if the process is moving us forward.
“[It] is about belief and trusting us and for sure, it’s about the process that we need to trust and believe. [...] We play really well in too many games but we didn’t get what we deserved and some teams with on one shot on target score twice. The circumstances are the circumstances and we cannot complain but I think we deserve more if we talk about our performance.
“But sometimes we need to see ourselves and be critics, we need to be more aggressive in this type of period and maybe give more. In the last game we had chances, we were better than Brentford. Brentford played with the block very low and were only waiting for some counter-attacks. In the first half they didn’t create, one chance and the first chance we concede. We need to be more aggressive and it’s not enough and we need to criticise ourself and be better and it’s not enough at the moment.”
-Mauricio Pochettino; source: Football.London
Here’s to being better!