MAURICIO POCHETTINO has been left red-faced by his own player, Moises Caicedo following Chelsea’s loss to Middlesbrough in the Carabao Cup.
Pochettino took solace in the fact that Moises Caicedo had told him that his former side Brighton had also lost there last year.
But in actual fact, Brighton beat Boro 5-1 in last year’s third round of the FA Cup.
Immediately after the game, Pochettino said: “If you see the previous years, other Premier League teams went out to Middlesbrough.
“It was Caicedo telling me that ‘we lost last year to Middlesbrough with Brighton’ and many Premier League teams, when they play in the cups there, they lose.”
Caicedo’s memory had clearly failed him, given he played the entire 90 minutes of Brighton’s 5-1 victory.
In fact, the last time Middlesbrough beat Brighton was a 3-0 victory in the Championship 2015-16 season.
Middlesbrough have claimed a couple of Premier League scalps in recent seasons though.
They knocked both Manchester United and Tottenham out of the 2021-22 FA Cup on their way to the quarter-finals, where they lost to Chelsea.
Pochettino did not shirk responsibility for the Middlebrough loss and said it was time to focus on their West London derby with Fulham in Saturday’s early kick off.
He said: “We are Chelsea and we cannot afford to lose these kinds of games but, to be honest, if you played 100 times, maybe you lose one because it is football and not another sport.
“We got criticised but sometimes it is good, we can learn with the criticism and we need to be tough, we need to feel the pressure to grow.
“For us it is important to perform and to win.
“We didn’t perform badly against Middlesbrough. We came from a few victories. We need to keep the momentum. It is true after the first leg we are 1-0 down but we need to keep the belief.
“It is important to realise we are still alive and we have the second leg at Stamford Bridge. We will fight to be in the final. We know when you lose a game to a Championship team, we need to accept the criticism.’