Pochettino highlights Chelsea’s ‘big improvement’ on his watch

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Mauricio Pochettino left Chelsea after just one season in charge (Glyn KIRK)

Mauricio Pochettino said Chelsea had shown “major improvement” during his only season as manager in his first public comments since leaving Stamford Bridge.

The Argentine left the club by mutual consent last month, despite a strong end to a turbulent season that saw them languish in the middle of the Premier League for much of the campaign.

The Blues won their last five matches to finish sixth and earn a place in the UEFA Conference League, also reaching the final of the League Cup and the semi-finals of the FA Cup.

Chelsea appointed Leicester boss Enzo Maresca as Pochettino’s successor on a five-year contract on Monday.

Pochettino, 52, addressed the club’s owners and supporters on social media, saying he had worked hard to “give you a Chelsea you can be proud of”.

The former Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain boss said the team had made progress after finishing a lowly 12th in the Premier League in the 2022/2023 season.

“I am so pleased with the level the team has reached and the way the players and staff have worked so hard to raise their standards. They deserve a lot of credit and I hope you felt it too in the way they performed field,” Pochettino said. in an Instagram post Tuesday.

“We know there have been ups and downs, but we always believed in this team and that we would get to a consistent level.

“I believe that the experiences of this season and the great improvements we have seen will only make the players stronger for the future. It has been a pleasure working with them all and we appreciate the strong bonds we have built over the past years of creating together.”

Pochettino said he would return to Stamford Bridge on Sunday for the annual Soccer Aid celebrity charity match to raise money for UNICEF, where he will lead a World XI against an England team.

jw/pb