Argentine coach dismissed speculation as his side fought back in the second half to compound Crystal Palace's woes
: Reuters/Ian Walton
Mauricio Pochettino poured scorn on “rumours” over his job at Chelsea after Conor Gallagher breathed life into their season by returning to haunt Crystal Palace.
Pochettino was dismissive of the “pressure” on him and his players as his side’s second win in less than a week extended their mini-revival following humiliating defeats against Liverpool and Wolves.
The Chelsea manager dubbed Gallagher “priceless”, the midfielder having kick-started that revival in Wednesday’s FA Cup win at Aston Villa before scoring twice against the club he played for on loan to help Chelsea come from behind and climb back into the top half of the Premier League.
Pochettino said: “I don’t care about the rumours. I don’t care about the tension. I don’t care about the pressure. I don’t care about the stresses. We know really well which is our reality and we are going to keep working.”
He was full of praise for Gallagher, who also scored a stoppage-time winner at Palace last season, after the midfielder cancelled out Jefferson Lerma’s long-range opener at the start of the second half and netted at the death again before Enzo Fernandez sealed a 3-1 win.
What a STRIKE! ⚡Conor Gallagher scores against his former team! ???? pic.twitter/tq8y87LdOS
Gallagher’s second goal sparked wild celebrations, which saw visiting fans break through the Selhurst Park advertising hoarding and Nicolas Jackson – who had earlier been substituted – booked for storming the pitch in unbridled joy.
“He’s a player that with great commitment to the team, always trying to compensate every single situation and that is priceless to have a player like him,” Pochettino said. “So happy for him and for the team. To confirm the reaction after Aston Villa, it was a great opportunity.”
Gallagher’s future is in serious doubt with just over a year remaining on his contract and the 24-year-old could have been sold in the January transfer window.
But Pochettino said: “He told me he wanted to stay at Chelsea and then it is about him and the club.”
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