Mauricio Pochettino will not rush Reece James into his starting XI against Brentford tomorrow – and the Chelsea head coach has provided an update on Christopher Nkunku's recovery from injury.

James made his return to action in last weekend's 2-2 draw against Arsenal. It was our club captain's first appearance since the opening weekend of the campaign due to a hamstring injury.

The England international has trained alongside his teammates this week at Cobham and is in contention to feature against the Bees. However, Pochettino has confirmed James will have to make his impact off the bench.

‘Reece is still not ready to start,' the Chelsea head coach explained at his pre-match press conference. 'He is doing well, has been training really well. He is really close but tomorrow he is going to be on the bench.’

James' return is a boost for Pochettino, who has had to contend with a number of absentees during the opening weeks of the season. One of those is summer signing Nkunku.

The France international joined Chelsea from RB Leipzig in June and was impressive during our pre-season tour of the United States. But, unfortunately, Nkunku sustained a knee injury in our final friendly and has since been sidelined.

Pochettino says Nkunku is making good progress in his recovery and has outlined what the 25-year-old can add to the Chelsea attack when fit.

‘He is doing really really well; is working really hard,' the Chelsea head coach said. 'He is close and hopefully as soon as possible we can have him involved again. He is a really important player for us.

‘Maybe after the international break [in November] he will be involved, maybe. It’s not sure.’

Pochettino continued: ‘He is a player that can provide goals and we have been missing goals. That is why we think he can be important for us – he has proved he can score goals in the Bundesliga.

'Of course, if you compare with different offensive players, maybe with eight or ten goals from Nkunku our situation is completely different because they are the goals we are missing to be in a different position.

'We can't complain and we need to work so things can happen. So we are looking forward to recovering him and for him to help the team score more goals, earn more goals, and be a in a different position in the table.’

The visit of Brentford provides Chelsea with another opportunity to put down a marker at Stamford Bridge. Only one victory has been recorded on home soil this term, although more was deserved from draw against Liverpool and Arsenal.

‘It is really important, we need to create a run at home and start to win,' said Pochettino. 'We need to start to project the image that we are solid and consistent in front of our fans. We are desperate to show them we can get the three points at home.

'We are building a strong team, the mentality is there, is much, much better than at the start. We are happy with the way we are evolving from day one but we are still far away from what we expect from our team and from us.

'We are Chelsea and we know our responsibilities are massive – it is to win.’