Mauricio Pochettino believes Chelsea need to keep level heads through this period as he works to bring consistency to our performances, ahead of facing a tough challenge against an Everton side in good form.
Chelsea are back on the road this weekend, travelling to Goodison Park to take on Everton in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, hoping to bounce back from the midweek defeat at Manchester United.
Looking ahead to that next match, Mauricio Pochettino started by providing an update on Christopher Nkunku and Malo Gusto's chances of returning from injury in time to feature against the Toffees.
‘Christopher we are still assessing day by day, we will see tomorrow,' he said. 'I don’t believe that he will be involved but we need to assess day by day. We will see also if Malo Gusto can be available but apart from that, there is no news.’
Our head coach then turned his attention to his team's recent form and the progress made on and off the pitch this season. While he conceded this is a difficult period, he stressed it was important to keep a level head.
After the high of our 3-2 victory over Brighton last Sunday, despite playing with 10 men for more than half the game, we suffered a painful 2-1 defeat at Manchester United in midweek, but Pochettino is determined to stay focused on the bigger picture and not react just to the last result, positive or negative.
'We know the club better, the squad,' he explained. 'We know the players better, even if some players have been injured since the beginning of the season. This relationship with the staff and all the people here, I think it is massive progress for us and the team, because we know them. Every single player knows what we expect from them, which is to deliver their job, to perform.
'We need to improve with time. For different reasons we are not getting what we want. I think we have deserved much more from the beginning of the season, but in the last few weeks we dropped in our performance. I am fair and realistic in our assessment. We need again to get in a good way to start to perform better again.
'After Brighton the feelings were all completely different to now after Manchester United. We cannot go from zero to 100, from 100 to zero. This type of situation is tough, because we are at Chelsea. We need to see the reality that sometimes we struggle and then we don’t have the possibility to use all the elements of the squad.
'It’s about trying to keep going, being calm, not too high when we win and not too down when we lose. The balance is the most important thing during this period.'
However, he does highlight the need for more consistency in our performances, even if he knows there is no easy route to achieving that goal.
'It's a process that’s sometimes difficult to put a date to finish and to start to perform and start to be consistent. It’s a process that always takes time. We know really well what we want. You need also some luck to keep the players fit, all involved to increase the competition between them. In time we will find this moment.
'At the moment we need to stay calm, keep pushing, because we are so close. At the moment we are finding it hard but we are going to keep pushing and working really hard. We know what we need to do and it is only time until it happens.
'It’s holistic. It’s a little thing from every part of the components. It’s not only one thing that you need to talk about or work on. It’s every single game we need to try to find the good balance on the pitch.
'The inconsistency came from different parts of the team. The challenge was to settle everything and to try to behave like a team and for different circumstances we are late in that way. We should be early but for different circumstances we are late.'
It will not be an easy match to get back to winning ways in the Premier League on Sunday, either. Everton have seemingly been revitalised since being handed a 10-point deduction for a breach of financial rules, winning five of their last seven matches in all competitions.
Add in the usual competitive nature of teams managed by Sean Dyche, who has long impressed Pochettino with his achievements, and it will be another difficult challenge for the Blues at Goodison Park.
'It’s going to be really tough. They were doing a fantastic season before that happened. I know Sean Dyche very well and always I’ve admired him because of what he achieved with Burnley.
'It’s going to be tough because their feeling is that they were treated so unfair and of course when you feel like that you feel freedom and have nothing to lose. It’s not only for that because they have good players and Sean is doing a great job.
'After last night, a massive victory for them against Newcastle, and they are going to be really motivated to face us. But every game is difficult in the Premier League and the most important thing is that we need to be ready to compete better than we competed in the last game.
'They can play in different ways and they are always aggressive. Like Sean’s personality, really aggressive and brave. We are going to find a team that is going to try to press high and be aggressive and can also play direct. It’s going to be interesting because it’s going to be a massive challenge for us.’