LONDON: Mauricio Pochettino admits struggling Chelsea need to “grow up” after their troubled season was hit again with a 1-0 defeat against Aston Villa late last night.
Pochettino’s men have won just once in six league games under his charge after Ollie Watkins’ second-half goal secured three points for Villa at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues are stranded in 14th place, just four points above the relegation zone, after failing to score in their last three games.
Chelsea’s latest upset came when defender Malo Gusto was sent off after 58 minutes for a challenge on Lucas Digne.
After a VAR review on the sidelines, referee Jarred Gillett changed the initial yellow card to red following a dangerous play foul.
Adding to Pochettino’s woes, Chelsea striker Nicolas Jackson, who has scored just one goal since his move from Villarreal, was shown his fifth yellow card in an effort to block Villa’s free-kick, serving a one-match ban.
Pochettino refused to criticize the match officials and instead said he and his players were to blame following Chelsea’s latest defeat.
“It’s our responsibility and the players’. We can’t blame VAR or the referee,” said Pochettino.
“That situation, we have to act differently. I will not blame or say anything against Malo Gusto.
“Incidents happen in football and they affect the game and the team in a negative way.
“We have to grow as a team, not just in an individual way. A player like Nico (Jackson) who is too young, goes through Premier League experience and he learns, he needs time.”