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Updated December 26th, 2023 at 11:06 IST

Mauricio Pochettino unfazed by Chelsea disciplinary record

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino is defending his team's unwelcome position as the Premier League side with the most yellow cards this season.

Mauricio Pochettino
Mauricio Pochettino leaves the field at the half time during an EPL match | Image:AP
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Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino is defending his team's unwelcome position as the Premier League side with the most yellow cards this season.

Pochettino said Chelsea's 56 bookings in 18 league games did not show a lack of discipline but rather his players' desire to compete.

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“We are in a big club, you feel the pressure,” Pochettino said ahead of Chelsea's next league game against Crystal Palace on Wednesday. “When you are frustrated, and you don't have maybe the experience of other teams, you make a mistake." The team collected five bookings during the 2-1 defeat to Wolves at Molineux on Sunday, among them Cole Palmer who will now miss the Palace game after accruing five for the campaign.

Raheem Sterling also saw yellow for simulation when he sought a penalty in stoppage time.

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“Palmer is playing for us his first season as a regular. It's normal. The players care, they want to win, they are frustrated,” Pochettino said. “It's not discipline. We need to have more the capacity to read the situation of the game.” Chelsea has already seen suspensions for Reece James, Malo Gusto and Conor Gallagher after being sent off earlier in the season, while summer signing Nicolas Jackson is only two bookings short of 10 for the campaign and a further two-match ban, having also been suspended in September.

Pochettino also pointed toward injuries as a contributing factor in his team's overall struggles, with at least eight players unfit for the meeting with Palace at Stamford Bridge.

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Chelsea is 10th in the league, five places higher than Palace.

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Published December 25th, 2023 at 23:48 IST

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