Mauricio Pochettino has been looking at both ends of the pitch, discussing Nicolas Jackson’s recent form in front of goal and the difficult selection decisions he has to make at centre-back.

Since the start of the season, Mauricio Pochettino has been urging patience before rushing to judgement on the potential of many young Chelsea players, while they take time to adapt to life at a new club and, in many cases, a new country.

One of those is striker Nicolas Jackson, who arrived from Spanish side Villarreal during the summer. The Senegalese international has netted in each of our last three matches, taking his tally for the season to nine in the Premier League and 12 overall.

Given that another African Chelsea striker, one Didier Drogba, finished his debut season in England with 10 in the league and 16 in all competitions - helped by five in the additional Champions League campaign Jackson has not had the chance to match - our head coach is feeling justified in backing Nicolas through a difficult start.

‘The most important thing was to support him when it was a tough moment for him,' said Pochettino. 'I’ve always said that I really believe in him and I really believe that he is going to be very successful here, because he has the quality and the capacity.

‘Now he is doing much better, but he still needs to improve a lot. The numbers are similar to Drogba’s first season and that maybe gives the fans more belief in him, to be a little bit more patient with him.

‘I think the problem was with the circumstances of the team. People were waiting to have better results and he was a player who arrived needing support, needing help and time to adapt to the club and to perform.

‘Then all the pressure was on him because he was the only striker, with [Christopher] Nkunku injured and [Armando] Broja coming back from a long injury. So people demanded too much, for him to score in every single game and with every single action.

‘Of course that is not easy, but I hope now that people begin to understand he has the capability to be very good for us.’

Switching focus from scoring goals to keeping the ball out of the net at the other end, Pochettino discussed his options at centre-back for tomorrow's FA Cup quarter-final against Leicester City at Stamford Bridge.

Having been a near ever-present in our defence for much of the season, Thiago Silva has been among the substitutes since returning from injury, but Mauricio insists that is purely a result of the good performances of others during his absence.

Axel Disasi and Trevoh Chalobah - himself only recently returned after missing the first half of the season through injury - have been the preferred pairing since the win over Leeds United in the last round of the FA Cup, and our head coach will continue to make his choice based on current form.

‘Thiago got injured against Palace and then he could not be available for the final and before the final. Of course, then arrived Trevoh and he was performing well. That’s it, the decision is to play with one or another.

‘We need to respect everyone and of course Thiago has my 100 per cent respect, but I need to choose and we have Axel and, before he got injured, it was Levi [Colwill]. Even with Levi, if he comes back tomorrow maybe I will decide to go with Trevoh, because he is doing well.

‘For me it is about the player who is performing deserves to play. It is not about their name or their experience or because they are a legend. I think Thiago needs to always be focused on trying to help in the moment that we will demand it. He is training well now and waiting for his opportunity to play again.’

Whether Thiago Silva's next chance to earn his place back in the team will come against Leicester tomorrow only Pochettino knows for now. With Disasi and Chalobah starting to show signs of a solid partnership and Levi Colwill working towards his own return from injury, though, our head coach seems set to have plenty more difficult selection decisions to make in his defence in the weeks ahead.