Chelsea boss Pochettino gives Jackson reality check after scoring first treble
Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino has sent a brutal message to striker Nicolas Jackson after claiming he should have scored two hat-tricks against Tottenham on Monday. The Senegalese striker shrugged off his recent run of bad form by netting a second-half treble against Spurs in the 4-1 London Derby victory, but Pochettino has underlined the importance of the young striker not resting on his laurels.
Jackson has been guilty of squandering several gilt-edged chances this season and it almost proved to be the case against Spurs after twice being denied by Guglielmo Vicario in the first half. He also had a goal disallowed for offside and was in an offside position for Moises Caicedo’s goal when the ball went through his legs.
But after Tottenham duo Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie were sent off either side of half-time, the striker benefited from the hosts’ high line to find the net with three precise but close-range finishes.
The £32million signing from Villarreal has proved to be a polarising figure with fans, as it proved to be the case when he was confronted by a fan in the 2-0 defeat to Brentford. His treble at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium has endeared him to them somewhat, given the importance of the win.
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But Pochettino says Jackson must continue to improve after his hat-trick, as he made note of the chances he missed in addition to the opportunities he took.
“It’s easy to say ‘OK I scored three goals’,” Pochettino told reporters. “It’s a process. He’s still young, he needs to improve. OK, he scored three goals, but he should have scored six.
“My opinion of him has not changed. The most important thing is to keep calm and relaxed and he is going to improve with time. Nights like Monday help him not to be too much nervous and approach a game in a different way.”
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Ahead of Sunday’s clash with Manchester City, Pochettino was full of praise for Pep Guardiola’s side and was adamant they are the best in the world. But the Argentine insisted he would not accept any notion of his side being underdogs for the clash at Stamford Bridge.
“For me, it is the best team, the best coaching staff, the best manager, it is the best or one of the best organisations in the world,” he added. “When you show the results it’s because you are doing things top to bottom really well. It’s going to be a challenge, we want to compete against them, I think we are going to try and compete our best, three points are important for us.
When asked if his side could be considered underdogs, Pochettino replied: “Chelsea is never the feeling of underdog. When you are Chelsea, you feel like Chelsea. Monday. we go to Tottenham and finish the game 1-4… it showed we have character and the talent to compete and fight with the best clubs in England.”
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