Mauricio Pochettino believes his Chelsea side were harshly punished for the few mistakes we made in the first leg of our Carabao Cup semi-final against Middlesbrough, but sees reasons to be hopeful of turning the tie around in the second game at Stamford Bridge.

At the halfway point of the 180 minutes of this semi-final the scoreline is a disappointing one for the Blues, as we return home from the Riverside trailing 1-0 despite dominating the game.

However, Mauricio Pochettino knows it is a reality we must accept and confront after our own errors allowed Middlesbrough to take the lead on the counter, before we failed to make our own chances count by scoring an equaliser.

The good news is we still have 90 minutes to turn it around, which our head coach believes can happen with a positive approach to the second leg.

'It’s so easy to explain,' said Pochettino. 'We made some mistakes in the first half and we were punished for that. We created big chances but didn’t score, we were not clinical enough. That is so clear. In the second half we dominated but we didn’t create enough chances. Middlesbrough deserve the credit of course.

'It’s the first 90 minutes, the first half of the tie, and we are losing 1-0. In two weeks we are going to have the second leg and we have to be positive that we can win the game and go to the final. That is the objective.

'We were punished for the mistakes we made in the first half. We conceded a goal because it was our mistake. The few mistakes we made they punished us. We created enough chances to score and get a draw at the end. Over 90 minutes I thought we were the better side, but if you don’t score goals you cannot win. They scored and we didn’t. That explains perfectly what happened.

'I am disappointed because I think we deserved a different result, but sometimes you don’t play well and you win. For us it’s like we need to play well, we need to score goals. We play well but sometimes we are not clinical enough and sometimes we are punished. That is the process in this moment we are in.

'Always when you are building a team this kind of scenario is tough, because you not only need to play well but you need to deserve and have some luck. Today we made a few mistakes and conceded a goal that we should not concede. Then we were not clinical enough.'

Pochettino also explained Armando Broja's absence from the starting line-up...

'Armando came from one year injured and played a few days ago. He cannot start like a normal player, we need to manage him. In three days we have another game, he should start.

'It’s difficult for a player like this to start three games in less than seven days. Then when he went on the pitch with Misha it was difficult for them to connect, to create chances, and in the end they could not help us to score or take a different result.'

Our head coach discussed Levi Colwill's versatility in defence after a difficult night for the 20-year-old...

'Levi is a young player who can play in different positions. He played as a centre-back in the last game with Axel, and today we played Thiago with Axel, Malo on the right and Levi on the left.

'It’s important for him to get experience of playing in the Premier League with Chelsea there, I think it’s going to help him to be a better player and feel the competition. Levi is having a fantastic season whether he is playing centre-back or full-back.

'He is a player for the future of Chelsea, but at the moment of course when you don’t win you struggle. We are a young team with young players, they need to learn and improve during the competition.'