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Man City v Chelsea: Mauricio Pochettino is ‘amazing’, Blues midfielder Cole Palmer says


Chelsea midfielder Cole Palmer says he is “surprised” by how successful he has been since joining the club from Manchester City in September and praised the impact of manager Mauricio Pochettino’s “little conversations” with players during an underwhelming season so far at Stamford Bridge.

City academy product Palmer returns to Etihad Stadium on Saturday for the first time since his move to Chelsea for an initial £40 million on summer transfer deadline day, having scored 14 times and produced nine assists in 31 appearances to establish himself as Pochettino’s stand-out performer.

“When I made the decision to come down here with my family, it was a really tough decision to leave,” Palmer told Chelsea’s official website ahead of the Premier League match against the reigning champions.

“I have been surprised by how well it’s gone here so quickly but I always back myself to succeed.

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“The manager helps us all every day. Little conversations telling us what to do – he supports us massively.

“He’s been amazing from my first day. From when I first came in, he put his arm around me and gave me the freedom and the confidence to go out there and play well.”

Man City v Chelsea ‘strange’ for Palmer

Pochettino has come under pressure during an unconvincing first season in charge which has left 10th-placed Chelsea 12 points off of the fifth-placed finish which is likely to ensure Uefa Champions League qualification next season.

Predecessor Graham Potter was sacked with Chelsea in a similar position in 2022/23, and heavy defeats to Liverpool and Wolves in January and February underlined how far Pochettino’s expensive squad appear to be from challenging the top four.

“We have meetings and he believes in us and we believe in ourselves,” said top scorer Palmer, whose added-time penalty earned Chelsea a 4-4 draw at home to City in November.

“Everyone’s going to talk when you’re not doing well but we just need to try and block it out and focus on ourselves.

“It will be a tough game but I’m looking forward to going back to the Etihad. It will be strange, a weird feeling – but I’m looking forward to it and the team’s looking forward to it.

“I’m very excited. I played against them at Stamford Bridge but I think going back to the Etihad will be even stranger.”

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.


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