Mauricio Pochettino hailed his Chelsea side after their shock 3-1 victory over Aston Villa in the FA Cup fourth round.
The Blues and their boss came into the replay at Villa Park under huge pressure following Sunday’s dire 4-2 defeat to Wolves.
However, against their in-form opponents – who beat Sheffield United 5-0 at the weekend – Chelsea were brilliant and went 3-0 up thanks to goals from Conor Gallagher, Nicolas Jackson and Enzo Fernandez, before Moussa Diaby scored a late consolation.
And Pochettino, speaking to ITV after the game, lauded his side and claimed it was their strongest display of the season.
‘I think so (it was the best performance),’ he said. ‘We were talking in the dressing room about the feelings with the players. One of the best, maybe the best performance of the season.
Mauricio Pochettino said Chelsea’s win over Aston Villa was their best display of the season
Chelsea put in a superb performance as they toppled Villa 3-1 in a shock result at Villa Park
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‘It has arrived in a very good moment for us and I’m so happy with the performance.
‘The way we played pleased me the most. We are a young team and you know always it’s about being solid and consistent and that is most difficult thing in a young team.
‘Today I was so pleased because we were talking a lot in the last few months in the way we needed to create and win.
‘Before the game, the perception was that the team was in the middle all together, ready to compete and fight and go. Always it is about energy and attitude and today I have seen the talent is there.
‘Villa are doing a fantastic season, but playing the way we did… it’s not the result (that most pleases me), it’s the way we played and showed our quality.’
Pochettino came under significant scrutiny following the 4-2 defeat to Wolves, which came after a 4-1 reverse at Liverpool in midweek.
It meant the Blues have lost 10 league games already this season and they dropped to 11th in the table.
And Pochettino highlighted the struggles his side are facing, but claimed Wednesday’s display was an example of the potential of his side.
‘Of course it’s difficult but we are talking about expectations. We are talking about the most young team on the Premier League with expectations so high and it’s normal that players feel pressure to play, to perform and to win.
‘It’s not easy to manage all of these things. I was talking yesterday that there are too many things as a coaching staff we are dealing with and it’s difficult to explain that to the people.
Pochettino came into the game under pressure after Chelsea lost 4-2 to Wolves on Sunday
The Argentine highlighted the struggles his side face, but said he was optimistic for the future
‘But with this performance it makes us very pleased. All the people that believed from the beginning now we can feel it is true.
‘The trust from the players and belief from players in us is there. 200 per cent. The performance pleased me the most and is why I am so optimistic.’
He continued: ‘I know people are not patient and in a club like Chelsea you have to win and people don’t want to hear circumstances and excuses.
‘But we are no longer that Chelsea. This is a new project, these things can happen and the people need to believe and if they believe fantastic and if not, you know what will happen.’