Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has claimed that he has been playing the crossbar challenge with Mykhailo Mudryk to help build the player’s confidence. Mudryk joined the Blues in a deal worth up to $108 million in January. However, the Ukraine international has not yet managed to score a goal for the club.
Pochettino also revealed during the press conference that he usually beats the winger in the competition. “With Mudryk, I like to play sometimes to [hit] the crossbar from outside the box,” Pochettino told reporters on Tuesday.
“He said to me, ‘I don’t want to play anymore with you because you always win.’ I said ‘yes, because I have the belief, and the balance between belief and quality I know very well because I’m 50 years old. You’re still young and you need to know yourself.'”
“[Tuesday] was the first day we draw, because I always won. Now you start to believe in yourself, believe in your quality. If not, it’s difficult to balance belief and quality.”
Mudryk has yet to nail down a starting spot at Chelsea
Chelsea was able to sign Mudryk during the January transfer window despite intense interest from rivals Arsenal. In the end, the Blues agreed on a deal with Shakhtar Donetsk by offering more money. Nevertheless, the 22-year-old winger has found life in west London very difficult so far. In fact, Mudryk has no goals and two assists in 22 total appearances for the club. His only time scoring in a Chelsea kit was in the preseason.
The Ukrainian, however, is not the only issue at the moment for Chelsea. Despite spending over $1 billion on transfers since Todd Boehly purchased the club, the Blues still sit 14th in the Premier League table. Confidence is currently low across the board.
Pochettino hopes cup match can boost Mudryk, others’ confidence
Pochettino acknowledged this lack of confidence at the press conference as well. “The problem is we can’t buy confidence at the supermarket,” proclaimed the coach. “It’s about time. You know how our brains work – it’s about little by little, creating situations where we can provide the trust and the confidence and the belief.”
Chelsea is set to face fellow top-flight club Brighton on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup. The Seagulls are currently one of the more exciting teams in all of England at the moment. However, both teams could be set for squad changes for the cup match.
PHOTO: IMAGO / News Images
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