Pochettino wants Chelsea improvement after Wembley defeat

Mauricio Pochettino said his young Chelsea side need to “feel the pain” of defeat in order to continue to progress following the agonising last-gasp Carabao Cup loss to Liverpool at Wembley.

Virgil van Dijk’s header deep into the second period of extra time won the trophy for Liverpool as the Blues paid the price for some wayward finishing.

“That was the key,” boss Pochettino said, referring to his side’s all-too-familiar failures in front of goal.

”We created five or six really good chances, didn’t score and then we conceded a late goal. Finals are to win,” he added.

“The players are professional. They are very competitive and they need to move forward.

“But they still feel the pain. And they need to feel the pain like us [coaching staff]. They need to realise we have to improve to compete at this level.

“They have to feel what it means to play for a big trophy.”

The League Cup defeat is the sixth consecutive cup final Chelsea have lost and also means former Spurs boss Pochettino is still awaiting his first piece of silverware in English football.

“Of course it is difficult,” he continued.

“The players were so close to winning the game after 90 minutes. We were disappointed and started to lose energy, but I am happy with the effort; it was massive

“I feel the same as the players. It is so painful. When you don’t get what you want it is difficult to manage. Tomorrow we need to train and move on for Wednesday [FA Cup tie against Leeds United at Stamford Bridge],

“The age of the two groups is similar. We made a few changes [in extra time], but it is true, we didn’t keep the energy.

“But for sure I am proud of the players who gave a big effort. We are a young team. We believe in the project.”