Mauricio Pochettino hits back at Gary Neville after Chelsea’s win in the FA Cup

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In Wednesday’s thrilling FA Cup victory against Leeds, Mauricio Pochettino commended his team’s character while once more expressing his disappointment at Gary Neville’s label of his team as “blue billion-pound bottle-jobs.”

Conor Gallagher’s goal in the 90th minute gave Chelsea a 3-2 victory against the Championship team and set up a quarterfinal home matchup with Leicester.

Gallagher’s goal saved the Blues from going into extra-time for the second time in four days after they were defeated by Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk goal in the 118th minute of Sunday’s heartbreaking Carabao Cup Final, which set up Neville’s iconic one-liner.

Mateo Joseph gave Leeds the lead with his first goal for the team, but Nicolas Jackson and Mykhailo Mudryk’s well-taken goals gave Chelsea the lead at the break. Joseph then duly equalised for the visitors in the second half.

While acknowledging that Neville’s remark has swiftly gained traction, Pochettino insisted that it was unjust and that Chelsea could only refute the former Manchester United defender by winning games and displaying bravery.

“It’s like Gary, my friend, what you did you do? His opinion now is like always around and around, come on,” the Argentine said, as quoted by the Standard.

“We can’t agree about that. With all my love to Gary, it’s not fair to use these type of words about a team that is so brave and a club that always fights for big things.

“What can we do? Now only with this type of performance we can only show that we are brave and can win games. Nothing to say, only to keep moving.

“It’s not important for the team, not important for us, because we know how we are and how we behave.

“And why we lost the game against Liverpool is nothing to do with this. It’s different things. You need to accept all opinions.

“But that’s not for us. We know we’re brave, we’re working really hard. If people want to go around and around and around with this comment, for us it’s not an important comment. It’s sorry, you were wrong but nothing to say. Respect your opinion and move on.”

Pochettino’s job is still not safe according to latest reports. Several managers have been linked with the Chelsea job since the Blues are experiencing one of their worst seasons in the Premier League.

Even though they have performed well in the cup competitions, they are 11th in the league standings and qualification to a European competition is looking highly unlikely.

Todd Boehly has given Pochettino and the team the investment to perform and play well but they have been unable to deliver on the pitch.

A favourable tie in the next round of the FA Cup is good news for the Chelsea faithful. They would relish the opportunity to get success in this competition, which is their only chance to win silverware this season.

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