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Mudryk’s confidence hits rock bottom as £88m ace refuses to...
MYKHAILO MUDRYK felt so low he wanted to bottle out of a crossbar challenge with Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino — because he always LOSES.
The Blues splashed out £88million to sign the Ukrainian winger from Shakhtar Donetsk in January — part of US owner Todd Boehly’s whopping £1BILLION transfer splurge since taking charge at Stamford Bridge.GettyMykhailo Mudryk’s overhead fail might symbolise his dodgy self-belief[/caption] GettyMauricio Pochettino has been trying to boost Mudryk’s confidence[/caption]
But struggling Mudryk, 22, is without a goal in his 22 appearances and has been subbed off nine times in ten starts.
Pochettino even told him he “needs to understand the game better” after Chelsea’s goalless draw at Bournemouth ten days ago.
And Mudryk has also been unable to beat his 51-year-old manager in trying to chip the ball on to the crossbar as part of an attempted confidence-building training-ground challenge.
It has further dented Mudryk’s fragile belief in himself.
Poch revealed: “You know how it works in the brain. It is about, little by little, creating situations that can provide trust, confidence and belief.
“One example… today, with Mudryk, I like to play hitting the crossbar from outside the box.
“But he said to me, ‘No, I’m not going to play anymore with you because always you win’.
“I said, ‘Yes, because I have the belief. The balance in between belief and quality I know very well because I am 51 and you are still young. You need to still know yourself’.”
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But he persuaded Mudryk to take him on again yesterday and this time managed to earn a tie.
Poch added: “Today was the first time we drew in the challenge.
“Now, you start to believe in yourself, you start to believe in your quality because, if not, it is not a good balance between belief and quality.
“It is difficult. That is important. It is one aspect of how you work on the psychology of the player and how you can make the difference and provide him with the confidence afterwards to touch the ball and score rather than to go outside or inside. It’s a small example.”
Mudryk is symbolic of the huge problems Chelsea have experienced under the ownership of Boehly and Clearlake Capital — a young player signed at great expense failing to hit the heights expected of him.
Chelsea have failed to score in their last three Premier League games and Pochettino is worried his forwards will start overthinking and snatching at chances.
He said: “Confidence in one aspect is to score goals. We need to be more natural.
“To create chances, it’s not only about your positional game, your movement, if you play with one or two strikers, or different characteristics of the game, the most important thing is to be natural.
“We have been talking a lot in the last two days and we are going to work hard and remain positive.Mudryk has so far failed to justify his £88m January transfer feeGetty
“For different circumstances we are not in the best situation. The problem is we are not clinical in front of goal.
“But the important thing is to stay calm and keep working.”
Senegal striker Nicolas Jackson, a £30million buy from Villarreal, is hoping to get back in Poch’s good books with a goal in tonight’s Carabao Cup third-round home tie with Brighton.
Jackson collected his FIFTH yellow card of the season in Sunday’s 1-0 home defeat by Aston Villa — despite a warning from his boss to avoid cheap bookings — and is now suspended for Monday’s West London derby with Fulham.
Pochettino has held more talks with the striker and dished out a punishment that he is keeping under wraps.
The Chelsea boss said: “He needs to learn not only in this but in other areas.
“We are going to see if he is clever enough to adapt and accept advice, and also to learn from mistakes.
“Did he get fined? Not really . . . not in the way you think. It’s not money, it’s private.
The coach will take the blame, which is what always happens when things begin to go wrong, but there’s a completely different business plan.Gus Poyet
“I don’t like to talk about money with players. But in a different way, of course.”
Former Chelsea midfielder Gus Poyet says Pochettino’s job would already be on the line if Roman Abramovich was still the owner.
“The most important thing for Chelsea is that on the inside — with the directors, owners and players — they know where they are.
“But Mauricio knows that five points from six games is not what everyone at Chelsea is expecting.
“I know the coach will take the blame, which is what always happens when things begin to go wrong, but there’s a completely different business plan.
“The ownership and style of play has changed, and so many players have come in.
“Things need to turn around because you don’t want a bad atmosphere at Stamford Bridge, they need to bring the confidence back.”
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