Mauricio Pochettino could not help but take note of Newcastle United’s win against Manchester United – even before his Chelsea side drew the Magpies in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.
Just as Jurgen Klopp winced after glancing at the score line on the television at the back of the press room in the Vitality Stadium, following Liverpool’s win at Bournemouth, Pochettino’s eyes were drawn to events in the North West after Chelsea’s 2-0 victory against Blackburn Rovers. Pochettino was being asked about the psychological impact of captain Reece James returning during his post-match press conference at Stamford Bridge when the Argentine caught sight of the scenes following Newcastle’s 3-0 triumph against Manchester United as the question was put to him.
When asked if he was watching the draw, Pochettino apologised, explaining that ‘they finished the game’ at Old Trafford. Chelsea were paired with Newcastle in the draw for the last eight just a few minutes later and, clearly, this will be a tie with a lot riding on it for both sides at Stamford Bridge next month.
“We need to think that this is an important competition for us because we are not in Europe and it should be a priority for us like the Premier League and in January when we start the FA Cup,” the Chelsea manager said. “Of course, we need to think that we can win this competition.”
Opposite number Eddie Howe, meanwhile, was not looking quite that far ahead. “We are determined to try and do well in every game, and that’s genuinely how we are looking at it internally,” the Newcastle boss added. “We prepared as well as we could for today and we picked the team that we felt could win.
“Now we will try and do the same for Arsenal [on Saturday]. It’s doing that on a consistent basis. We are determined to try and achieve.”
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