‘It’s A FINAL! You don’t get another game at Wembley!’ Every word Mauricio Pochettino said before Man City v Chelsea.

It’s FINAL! You don’t get another game at Wembley!’ | Mauricio Pochettino | Man City v Chelsea

“Good afternoon and welcome to today’s press conference. We will begin with Gail and Sky Sports at the back there in the broadcast. Good afternoon.”

“Hello, good afternoon. I don’t want you to get mad and start shouting at me, but after the other night, a very good performance was overshadowed by that incident. Now the emotion has been taken out of it. Have you had another discussion with those players? You were pretty strong on Monday, but I wondered also if you’ve got the sense that they actually understood what they’d done wrong and whether or not you thought that they had taken it on board and learned from it.”

“I think we were talking a lot after Monday and Monday was off. Then Wednesday, Thursday, and today Friday still because we were practicing penalties and also talking. I think it’s clear. I made it clear after the game. We had a meeting with all the players and staff that were involved, as well as the sporting director there.”

“I explained my feelings and the way that we’re going to act in the future if something like this happens again. The message was really clear. After I translated it in the media and the press conference and all my interviews. Yes, I think now we need to move on. It’s about being clever.”

“They are clever and understand the situation. In some points, it was an image that you don’t like, but in other points, it’s good if the players want to take responsibility and take the penalties, showing the personality and character of the team. But they need to respect the rules. Discipline is so important, and the way that they approached or wanted to do things was in a very wrong way.”

“That’s why it’s so important for them to learn and for us to apply common sense and discipline and then to act differently in the future. Now we need to move on because all is clear, and yes, I’m happy with the way that we were training and the way that we played against Everton.”

“It was an amazing game, and yes, we need to translate that tomorrow into a game that is going to be really difficult, another final because it’s a semi-final, but it’s final because you need to go through if you want to win the game if you want to be in the final. Of course, we are with all the energy and the capacity to compete and to fight.”

“I know you don’t want it to go to penalties, but if it does, do you have a few ready on your list lined up for it? Will they even under pressure?”

“No, no, no, we are ready. Penalties are penalties. Look what happened in the last few days in different competitions, and you never know. But yes, we were practicing. We have a clear idea, but in the end, it’s difficult to guess what is going to happen. But I think we are ready.”

“You talked a lot about COA over the last few months, but when you sort of sat there and all what he did the other night and you look at his goal-scoring level with Harland’s, did you expect him to have that much to his game? You’ve talked about his mentality and his talent and how coachable he is. Is that kind of goal-scoring in or is that surprised you?”

“That is a consequence of his and then the teammate also that provided the possibility to pass the ball in the right moment. And of course, he was the taker of the penalty.”

“Also, I’m going to say honestly, we never charge the player when we sign the player. Always, sign players believing that they can perform. But it’s true that he’s performing in a very good way, maybe over expectation. It’s not only his addition to the team, playing well and performing in the way that we expect, but also scoring goals.”

“Of course, it’s his first consistent season playing. Also, we need to be careful because he’s still young, he’s growing, and he needs to evolve and develop in different areas of his game. But of course, the expectation was far away from what we expected from the beginning. I need to be honest; he looks so cool, is he like that all the time?

“On the flip side of that, this week there is a sense that maybe he’s got a bit of a point to prove. Players say they just want it a bit more when they’re playing an old club, you know? But he already played twice in the Premier League and he is very grateful to Manchester City, with Pep Guardiola, the former coach.”

“He always talks very highly about Manchester City and Pep. He’s not the type of player that has some negative feelings inside towards his former club. I think he knew and understood perfectly that maybe for different reasons, he wanted to prove himself in another class. Today, to enjoy Palma here is to thank Manchester City for giving me the possibility to move to another club.”

“Just finally, the news that met yesterday that there’ll be no FA Cup replay and with that, the season. So two parts of the question, are you pleased that cup replays are scrapped, and two, it does also mean you’ll lose that winter break? So the reaction to both of those things.”

“I am a lucky coach that I had the opportunity to coach in different levels, not only being in top clubs, and I can understand the frustration of the different clubs that may be used to have a replay to leave the experience to have the capacity to have more incomes.

“But I need to be on the infant side with the big teams that are involved in Europe, that maybe avoid playing more games during the season. Look, it’s not fair for, in both sides, in both positions, and I think it’s a situation that only I can explain this way. I am not on one or another side; only because that is my position, I have no influence on the decision, only I can describe the reality.”

“He said there on Cole Palmer still needs to evolve and develop, where do you think he can develop in his game?”

“First of all, he needs to absorb the pressure to play in the Premier League consistently. Then, we were talking with the coaching staff, with Jesus, about the demands in his private life are so much higher now because he’s stopped scoring maybe he needs to pay attention to different things that before he didn’t pay attention to.

“That is going to have an influence on how he’s going to prepare himself, how he’s going to rest, how he’s going to sleep. He’s going to spend the energy that sometimes before he didn’t spend. That is why we need to be careful, and we have the experience, of course.”

“When you played Liverpool at Wembley, it was a lot of these players’ first time playing in the stadium. Do you think you’re better prepared going into this match this time?”

“Of course, the experience could be a good point for the team. Players who maybe repeat will have the possibility to play again; they’re going to already know what it means to play at Wembley. That should help to rest more, be calm, and approach the game in a different way.”

“Manchester City coming into this game off the back of a defeat, can you take advantage of that, any lowering of morale or fatigue that they’re experiencing?”

“As always, we know very well when you play 120 minutes in a Champions League match, it’s not easy to recover. It’s going to be tough for them, like for us.”

“But we need to remember that they have an unbelievable squad, players that maybe didn’t play and have the possibility to play, but they’re going to perform in the same way they have been showing in the last six, seven years, how consistent they are playing under their philosophy and winning titles.”

“I think it’s a challenge for us because they are doing a fantastic job, of course, playing fantastic football, showing that they are one of the best, if not the best, teams in the world in the last five, six, seven years.”

“Um, can I ask you about good energy? I read your book, and I think it said that you need to update the book now because many things change and evolve. We need to make an update to the book. Just some good energy and preparation for big games. Do you still have lemons in your office? Do you still think they get rid of bad energy?”

“Yes, I have lemons in my office. It’s not superstition, but I like to have lemons in my office. I don’t know why, but it makes me feel comfortable. It’s like home now. My place in the training ground, in my office, is like my home now, and lemons make me feel at home. I need to believe in this or if it’s helping or not, but it makes me feel good.”

“I asked genuinely because I know some top players and top managers have rituals when they play big games and they have a unique way of preparing for them. No, I don’t change. For me, every single game is important. It’s like in football, we talk about that, and we love that the most important action in football is the next one.”

“Thank you. The last question in the broadcast section today is from Simon from The Athletic. Last time you were at Wembley, the game finished with Gary Neville calling your players “b jobs.” Do you get the feeling from your players that this is another high-profile game at Wembley, that they’ve got points to prove, they’re fired up to show it’s different this time?”

“Again, like I was talking about Cole Palmer, I am not a person who has bad feelings. When things happen, they happen because it’s a special circumstance. Now, I’m not thinking about that. I hope that we can win and go through to the final. That is our objective.”

“But we are not going there thinking that. I think I have too many good memories from Wembley. We’ve played too many games. I hope that one day we can leave a trophy there. That is my dream, that is what we want. Of course, for the fans, it could be amazing. But I don’t have bad feelings. We are focusing on trying to win the game and go through to the final.”

“If it goes through extra time, though, have you talked to the players about how to handle it better than last time against Liverpool? Yes, but to be honest, it’s going to be a completely different game against a different club, different structure, different situation, and circumstance.”

“Like a football player or coaching staff, the most important thing is always to adapt to the circumstances and always think things can change. But the most important is to react in a good way when things happen.”

“Quick one on Mendy, saying that he’s now part of team training. It’s their chance, then he’ll be back soon?”

“Well, now he’s about to. Yes, they assess him day by day, and now in the last few days, he had the possibility to be in some part of the training session involved. Now we need to see the reaction of his body and then how he’s going to evolve. Hope that we can recover him and be available as soon as possible or before the finish of the season.”

Thank you. Cameras off, please. That’s the end of the broadcast section, and we’re now going to do the daily newspaper.

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