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  • Mauricio Pochettino Remains Resilient Despite Chelsea'S Recent Setbacks

Mauricio Pochettino remains resilient despite Chelsea's recent setbacks

Mauricio Pochettino insists he is happy at Chelsea despite recent defeats by Arsenal and Manchester City that have cast a shadow over his team's recent revival.

The Argentinian saw his side thumped 5-0 at the Emirates Stadium by the Premier League leaders on Tuesday, a lifeless display that came three days after they were knocked out of the FA Cup by City, confirming the club's third consecutive campaign without major domestic or European silverware.

Some supporters – including those in the away section in north London, who held up banners – have questioned the desire of the players, while Pochettino himself has more than once been targeted by fans at Stamford Bridge this season as patience with results and performances has been tested.

Chelsea are ninth in the table and require a strong finish if they are to avoid missing out on European qualification for a second year in a row, beginning with Saturday's trip to play fourth-placed Aston Villa.

The manager said recent setbacks have not dampened his enthusiasm for the job of returning the club to former glories.

"I enjoy it," he said. "I think it's easy to be in a project that is all working well, winning games, it's so easy.

"The problem is when you need identify the problems, assess every single day why things happen. Not too many coaching staff can do this.

"I prefer to be always there in the top: top organisation, winning, winning, winning. But we enjoy (the job) because this club deserves to be in another position. We are trying to help them evolve in all areas. It's exciting because it's completely different to any other club.

"We try to enjoy it, because if you are not happy it is difficult to give your best."

Pochettino could be without as many as 12 players for the trip to Villa Park, with Raheem Sterling and Carney Chukwuemeka the latest injury doubts.

Enzo Fernandez was ruled out for the remainder of the season on Thursday after undergoing groin surgery, while neither Reece James nor Levi Colwill is ready to feature despite returning to training with the squad. Cole Palmer, however, is set to return after missing the Arsenal thrashing.

Despite progress having been hampered by the ongoing injury crisis, reports this week have suggested the manager's job could be in doubt should the team fail to qualify for Europe.

"I think we are good as a coaching staff, helping players to evolve and to be better," said Pochettino. "But it is not only us; there are many coaching staff that are good, helping players and organisations to be better.

"We are not in this way so silly – if we believe we are the best, then for sure we are not the best.

"These players need time. (Cole) Palmer (the Premier League's joint top scorer) is an exception, but I think we have other players that can be top. You cannot compare one with another.

"It's a tough process that they need to suffer to improve. Patience is the most important thing, but it's the most difficult thing to have."

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