Home SPORT Pochettino responds to Neville’s ‘blue billion pound bottle jobs’ Chelsea jibe

Pochettino responds to Neville’s ‘blue billion pound bottle jobs’ Chelsea jibe

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Pochettino responds to Neville’s ‘blue billion pound bottle jobs’ Chelsea jibe

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Mauricio Pochettino says the ‘blue billion pound bottle jobs’ jibe by Gary Neville to describe Chelsea is unfair.

Neville made the comments as the Blues suffered Carabao Cup final heartache against Liverpool, who relied on numerous young players to get them over the line at Wembley.

Pochettino lost his third cup final and then had to field questions about a jibe about his team from Neville

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Pochettino lost his third cup final and then had to field questions about a jibe about his team from NevilleCredit: Getty

Chelsea had players including £100million midfielders Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo on the pitch and were able to turn to almost £150m worth of talent from their own bench.

After Van Dijk – who had controversially seen a header chalked off by VAR in normal time – headed in the winner, Sky Sports pundit Neville, said: “In extra time it has been Klopp’s kids against the blue billion pound bottle jobs.”

Pochettino, though, defended his stars and pointed to the age of his own players as a comparison to Liverpool‘s teenagers.

“I didn’t hear what he said but if you compare the age of the two groups, I think it is similar,” he said when told what Neville had called his team.

READ MORE ON CARABAO CUP FINAL

“But look, I have a good relationship with Gary and I don’t know how I can take this but I respect his opinion. Of course, we made a few changes like (Conor) Gallagher and (Ben) Chilwell in extra time but it is true we didn’t keep the energy that was how we finished in the second half.

“I don’t know how you can describe this situation but for sure I feel proud of the players, I think they made a big effort.

“We are a young team and nothing to compare with Liverpool because they finished also with a few young players. It is impossible to compare and he knows that. He knows the dynamics are completely different.

“I think it is not fair to talk in this way if he says that. But we are going to keep strong and believing in this project and see what we can do in the future.”

Pochettino, who has now lost the three major finals he has reached while managing in England at both Chelsea and Tottenham, told his squad they needed to feel hurt by the setback.

“They need to feel the pain,” he added.

“We played for a trophy we didn’t get and now, it is the same – what can you tell me to feel better? Nothing. They need to feel the pain like us and of course, they need to realise we need to work more, do better things, we need to improve.”

The Argentinian pointed to Liverpool’s own progression under Klopp as an example for Chelsea to follow in the coming years.

Pochettino is positive about Chelsea's trajectory despite yet more disappointment this season

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Pochettino is positive about Chelsea’s trajectory despite yet more disappointment this seasonCredit: Getty

“To compete in this level with this team that in the last five, six, seven years is competing for big things, it is about to arrive here and then feel what it means to play for a big trophy,” he said.

“I remember after three or four years at Liverpool, they lose the Champions League, the Europa League, they keep believing and moving the project (forward) and work on the next season stronger until they get what they wanted.

“That is a good example. If we want to challenge a team like Liverpool, it is not to be frustrated today because we didn’t get the trophy. It is taking the example that we need to keep believing.”

Chelsea had also seen a goal ruled out after former Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling tapped home a Nicolas Jackson cross in the first half, only for the Senegal international to be marginally ahead of the defence.

In slipping to defeat, the Blues become the first English team to lose six successive domestic cup finals, with Chelsea now turning an eye to Wednesday’s FA Cup fifth-round clash with Leeds.



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