Mauricio Pochettino in Chelsea quit threat: If I leave it’s not the end of the world

Mauricio Pochettino passes on instructions to his players
Mauricio Pochettino has been under constant scrutiny ever since he was appointed last summer - Getty Images/Darren Walsh

Mauricio Pochettino admits he could quit Chelsea at the end of the season if he feels he and the club aren’t moving in the right direction.

Pochettino has been under constant scrutiny ever since he was appointed last summer. The five-time Premier League champions have been marooned in mid-table for most of the season and currently sit 13 points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa despite the club spending over billion pounds on their squad.

Recent victories over Spurs and West Ham have given Chelsea a chance of a top-six finish and should they win their remaining three matches of the season against Nottingham Forest, Brighton and Bournemouth it could see the return of European football to Stamford Bridge.

However, the future of Conor Gallagher remains uncertain with the England international yet to agree terms on a new contract, and question marks remain about the club’s ability to meet the league’s profit and sustainability rules next season.

The former Spurs and Paris Saint Germain boss will meet the club’s decision-makers after the final game of the campaign against Bournemouth next Sunday and the 52-year-old said he expects to stay on but admitted it won’t be the end of the world if there was a parting of the ways.

Pochettino said: “If we are happy, perfect. But it’s not only if the owner is happy, or the sporting directors are happy. If we are happy, we need to ask also, because maybe we say we are not happy.

“If we assess the situation and we are not happy, then we need to split.

“But it’s not going to be the first time that a coaching staff decides at the end of a season not to keep going. But at this stage, it goes in the opposite way.

“They can say tomorrow: ‘Stay here’. Or maybe tomorrow I can say: ‘Look, I want to leave’. It’s two parties that can make a decision.

“If Chelsea are not happy or the sporting directors are not happy, maybe we are not happy, because we arrive here with a job to do but then, it’s not happened how we expected. So maybe we are not happy.

“I’m not saying that I am not happy. But always it’s from one side, but okay, maybe there’s another side.

“Maybe if we leave here, it’s not a problem, it’s not going to be the end of the world.”

Pochettino said the constant speculation about his future does not concern him but he admitted it would be good for people who work with him at the club to be given some reassurances.

He said: “You need to kill the rumours if that’s not true, if not the rumour is there for a different strategy.

“If you ask, is it affecting me? It is not affecting me. Is it affecting the people working with us? I think yes because in the end you can kill the rumour, sack me and that’s not a problem. It happens in a lot of clubs.”

With players such as Reece James and Christopher Nkunku coming back from injury and Gallagher, Cole Palmer, Moises Caicedo and Noni Madueke becoming more influential players in the team, Pochettino said his first year in charge should not be judged until the end of the season.

“I was talking after the Tottenham game, and said to assess us at the end of the season because, maybe 20 people would assess us in a different way,” he said.

“But they need to take the decision. If they expect to win the Champions League, impossible, because we did not play in the Champions League this season.

“We arrived. It wasn’t us. You cannot blame us for not playing in the Champions League. I always try to be positive, I am going to be positive, I want to be positive, and of course, I project myself here for a long period – more than only the one year that it says in my contract.

“Because we really trust in our work. If that doesn’t happen, yes, that’s not in our hands.”

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