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Pochettino defends Sterling who speaks out after being booed by Chelsea fans

Mauricio Pochettino defends Raheem Sterling who speaks out after being booed by Chelsea fans for his poor moments in the win over Leicester.

Raheem Sterling received plenty of jeers in side Stamford Bridge in his side’s FA Cup quarter-final win on Sunday afternoon.

Mauricio Pochettino also faced boos from the home crowd, with Chelsea going on to beat Leicester 4-2, and will now head to Wembley again for the FA Cup semi-finals, where they will play Man City.

Raheem Sterling held his hands up and said sorry to Chelsea fans after his side’s victory over Leicester.

He said via Instagram: “Wembley Bound,” he wrote under photos of him during the match. “To all the Chelsea fans, apologies for the penalty miss.

“I’ll be back 10x stronger to help the team win and continue to keep fighting or the badge every single day.

“Let’s Go Blues @chelseafc.”

Mauricio Pochettino has defended Raheem Sterling after the forward came under-fire for his performance against Leicester, while also addressing boos towards himself during the game.

Sterling messed up many chances as well as a penalty in the first half, and went viral when sending a free-kick high into the stands later in the game.

He missed another clear opportunity, although Sterling did have one positive thing to take away from the game, assisting Cole Palmer’s goal to double Chelsea’s lead.

Palmer is usually the Blues’ penalty taker, addressing the incident after the game, Pochettino said: “Cole gave the ball to Raheem. I think they have a good relationship from Man City.

“When Raheem asked to take the penalty, you can see Cole [give him the ball]. It’s not a problem – Cole can miss, Raheem can miss. For me, the decision is theirs and I want to always support the decision of my players on the pitch.”

When talking about the performance of Sterling, Pochettino defended his player, adding: “It’s obvious that I cannot hide anything. The feelings weren’t good for him, but I’m going to support him and today is a great opportunity to support him.

“He has an unbelievable CV, he’s played in big teams and he’s an experienced player. He missed a penalty and some chances, but I’m happy with him and we are going to support him.

“The chance is to show we are building something. It’s my decision as always to play with eleven players, always doing the best for the team, the club and fans. It’s keep going, being strong and believing in the way we are doing things.”

Pochettino claimed that he wasn’t worried about the fans’ boos, going on to say: “That is why I made a decision. I am not only here to do whatever the people want. Also, I am not stupid.

“We analysed Mudryk and he was tired, he was doing some stretching and we thought that maybe he would not finish the game. Then we decided to first go for Mudryk and then for Raheem.

“We need to see everything, we are professional and we want to win. I completely understand the situation, but that doesn’t mean that I agree.

“We conceded a lot, they feel emotional because they’re disappointed, but it’s normal that they don’t agree with some decisions because it’s the feeling.

“We have very clever fans, they realise the situation and then when they are on the street, I am always open to talk with them and they show their support for us.”

He asked Chelsea fans to keep their trust in the project and club as a whole, not just Pochettino himself.

“They need to trust in the club,” he added. “If I’m here, it is for decision of the club. It is not to trust in me or the players, it’s to trust in what the club is doing and what they think is good for the club and the fans.

“Trust in everyone, not only me.

“We are close and I really believe that we can get better results in the last 10 games and be higher in our position,” he said.

“The most important thing is building little-by-little, build our relationship, build a squad that can be more consistent. The key is to identify all the things we need to change little-by-little during the season and next season, to have ambition is what we need to be stronger with the talented players we have, but they need to progress also.

“They have time also to realise that football isn’t just flashes, it’s not only action, it’s being consistent in two phases of the game. The Premier League is tough but we were not lucky in results. In the Carabao Cup and now in FA Cup, we are doing well.

“The team deserve big credit. When we play with less pressure on the team, they feel better and give chances to progress.

“The Premier League is tough, and you need more time to be more mature and experienced because how you deal with game is completely different.

“But finding balance, we are in a good way even if we are disappointed with the position in the table, but I believe we can move forward.”

Twitter users reacted as Pochettino defends Sterling who speaks out after being booed by Chelsea fans…

@maxpower1013: Don’t understand why he takes set pieces. Of all the positive attributes in his game, shooting and technique are not something you think of.

@PatrickAshling: How can he still be able to kick a football. Shambles

@JackSimmons101: Being boo’d by your own fans at 2-2 for a free kick really sums up his performance and the chelsea fans

@terryreid2: Doing well I see 😂

@Jasonwearmouth: If in doubt put it out

@jamesy_utb: Even the wall was set-up incorrectly to far back. Should be easy to figure out where it should be for a ref on the edge of the box.

@DanielJCurwen: Get him on the plane

@milkyjoe81: Can someone let @ChelseaFC know the ball is available for collection from ST17 Staffordshire 👍

@Kennyllorente: No one can tell me this wasn’t intentional, he hates it there.

@OwenH04: How’s it possible to earn in a week what some people will in 5/6 years and be that bad at your job

@dillonjahn: That might actually be the worst free-kick I have ever seen #FACup #BBCFootball

@horwell_91: Seen a lot of things in football but I’ve never heard an entire stadium boo a player for hitting a free kick into outer space 😂

@lennyb1983: Looks like that Cheltenham freekick from 2016 haha

@kateblakey40: A skill created and perfected by our very own legend Robert Huth. Takes time and talent to master that craft 😂😆 #lcfc #leicestercity

@GnomdePlume: Hats off to Sterling for ensuring the own goal wasn’t the funniest moment of the match. #CHELEI

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