After Noni Madueke fires back at Chelsea fans over Raheem Sterling, Mauricio Pochettino tells his to be careful

After Noni Madueke fires back at Chelsea fans over Raheem Sterling, Mauricio Pochettino tells his to be careful

Mauricio Pochettino has told Noni Madueke to ‘be careful’ after he criticised Chelsea fans for booing team-mate Raheem Sterling.

In an interview with MailSport, Madueke described the treatment of England international Sterling from fans as ‘harsh and unfair’.

Sterling enjoyed seven productive and successful seasons at Manchester City before joining Chelsea for £50m in the summer of 2022.

The 29-year-old has largely flattered to deceive at Stamford Bridge, however, scoring 12 goals in 53 Premier League games.

Sterling missed a penalty in Chelsea’s nervy FA Cup win over Leicester City before the international break and his second-half substitute was met with some boos.

Responding to the treatment Sterling has received, Chelsea winger Madueke said: ‘It’s so important [to support him]. I’m nobody to tell you not to have an opinion but I also have mine.

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‘That’s one of my teammates and the criticism is harsh and unfair. It’s our duty to voice our opinion and try to change the narrative a bit.

‘Raheem is an exceptional footballer and an even better person. It’s a bit upsetting when I see some of the criticism.’

Pochettino says it is important for his players to support their team-mates but insists they need to be ‘careful’ with how they ‘express their emotions’.

‘It’s about being calm now and accepting the situation,’ Pochettino said at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.

‘The most important [thing] is to deal with this situation with our experience, and Raheem is a very experienced player. What we cannot do is create bigger things because of our emotions.

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‘I really believe our fans love our players and for sure they are going to support Raheem and the result of the team. The team-mates need to be good team-mates and players can talk and express the emotions and their opinions.

‘But I think we need to be careful in the way we are talking and giving our opinions because we need to build a strong relationship with everyone.

‘I said after the game [vs Leicester] that I don’t agree [with booing] because always the players want to play well and score goals. I was also suffering the anger of the fans because of the disappointment.

‘The whole team were suffering but the most important thing is Raheem is an experienced player, so for sure he understands.

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‘Look, now we need to move on and to help protect the player, that is our responsibility and the player must understand they need to make the effort to try and convince the fans we are in a very good way.

‘The players need to love the fans and the fans need to love the players, it’s a connection we need to create because if not everyone is going to lose.

‘That’s why we need to be careful with the way we talk about our opinions and emotions.’

Chelsea have underwhelmed in Pochettino’s first season at Stamford Bridge and sit just 11th in the Premier League ahead of their return fixture against Burnley on Saturday.


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