Like a ‘clown’? Poch pans Chelsea fans after win

LONDON — Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has hit back at suggestions that he could show more passion on the sidelines, saying he is not a “clown.”

Pochettino hugged his staff and joined the wild celebrations after Chelsea earned a stunning 4-3 comeback victory against Manchester United on Thursday following two last-gasp goals from Cole Palmer.

However, when asked in a postmatch news conference whether he would take on board advice from some Chelsea fans demanding that he show more passion during matches, Pochettino bristled.

“Passion is not to be a crazy guy doing stupid things on the touchline. I’m not like this,” Pochettino said. “The team needs to show passion when it’s 11 players on the pitch, running and desperate to get the ball back and score goals.

“I need to be calm, very clinical and analytic to help them in every aspect of the game. At the end of the game, of course show your passion like I did. But it’s not a circus where you need a clown to do something on the touchline.

“We are one of the youngest teams in Europe, so we the coaching staff need to be calm. I am not a clown, I am a coach. If someone wants a clown, go and find a clown.”

It would have been tough for Pochettino to keep his calm amid a chaotic clash on Thursday that saw Palmer’s 101st-minute strike break the record for the Premier League’s latest-ever game-winning goal.

Pochettino has endured a tough return to the Premier League since being hired last May, but his Chelsea team are 10th in the Premier League, within breathing distance of European football as they sit five points behind Manchester United, who are sixth.

When asked why he showed so much passion after the final whistle, Pochettino said: “In the way it happened. It was unfair, the feeling was not so good, why are we losing the game? In football it is like this, but in the end we kept on believing.

“We were speaking to our players and saying, ‘still two minutes,’ we believed we could score the winning goal. It was a must-win game if we wanted to reduce the gap with the teams ahead of us.”

Up next for Chelsea is an away game against bottom-side Sheffield United on Sunday.

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