Pochettino targets trophy after clinching quarter-final spot

Mauricio Pochettino says Chelsea have their sights on winning the Carabao Cup after booking their spot in the quarter-finals with a 2-0 win over Blackburn at Stamford Bridge. 

Goals in either half from Benoit Badiashile and Raheem Sterling sealed victory over a youthful and spirited Rovers side whose oldest player in their line-up was 26.

“It is important to us as we are not in Europe,” Pochettino said.

“So we need to think we can win this competition.”

Pochettino included skipper Reece James in the starting line-up for the first time since the opening game of the season after a hamstring problem – and the England international looked back to his best in his 60-minute outing.

Badiashile also made his return from a similar injury that had sidelined the French defender since the end of last season.

“After Saturday it was important to win the game, but we do need to be more clinical as we had lots of chances,” Pochettino said.

“It’s about confidence and seeing James and Badiashile play for one hour was one of many positives and we are looking forward to next round.”

Pochettino said James was never going to play the full 90 minutes with one eye very much on Monday’s Premier League clash with Tottenham.

“We were talking and the plan was to check at half-time to see how he feels,” he explained.

“After 15 minutes (of the second half) he started to feel tired and we need to be careful how we manage him at the moment. It is important to be careful and not take any risks.

“James is really important he is an amazing player, one of the best in the world and the temptation is to play a full 90, but little by little he will get fitter.”