London: Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino said he never lost faith in his talented young players and that it was important they be given time to adapt to the Premier League after his side picked up their second win of the season by beating Fulham 2-0 on Monday.
Ukrainian winger Mykhailo Mudryk, who cost an initial 70 million euros ($75.78 million) in transfer fees in January, scored his first goal for the club, with striker Armando Broja also netting for the first time since his return from a serious knee injury.
“We need to understand that young people need time and need to settle. It’s about adaptation,” Pochettino said.
“It’s a big change when Mudryk arrived here, and when you arrive at a team, it’s not easy to settle in a team that isn’t solid.
“It’s about time, having patience, trusting these young talented players, building confidence. It’s a big job, step by step.” Mudryk was withdrawn at half-time on Monday and Pochettino said he hoped the 22-year-old would be available for Saturday’s game against promoted Burnley.
Chelsea are 11th in the table after taking only eight points from seven matches but Pochettino said they never pressed the panic button when results were not going their way.
“Sometimes people don’t have the patience but for us it’s about having the patience,” he added. “Even when we weren’t winning, we were calm, stayed positive, had the belief.”
Lampard: ‘Not completely surprised’
Former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said the Premier League club’s struggles this season have not taken him by surprise.
Pochettino took over at Chelsea in July after they finished 12th the previous season, during which Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter and Lampard were in charge at various points in the campaign.
Pochettino’s expensively assembled team are 11th this season after taking just eight points from seven matches.
“I’m not completely surprised at some of the difficulties. I think having lived it first-hand at the end of the season,” Lampard told Sky Sports on Monday.
“Top managers in Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter. So I think you could see I felt I could see some of the issues there which was confidence from results.” Lampard, Chelsea’s all-time leading scorer having played for the club between 2001 and 2014, said he had expected the club to have won more points but “never felt it would be an instant turnaround” under Pochettino.