Manager Mauricio Pochettino says he is ‘thinking long term’ at Chelsea

Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino says he wants to stay at the club for the long term after clarifying recent speculation about his future.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino says he is ‘thinking long term’ at Chelsea

Pochettino raised doubts over whether he would be at Stamford Bridge next season after saying on Friday it would not be the “end of the world” if he left in the summer and that his position would be decided one way or the other by the end of the next week.

The Argentinian explained his comments after watching his side continue their late surge for European qualification with a 3-2 win at Nottingham Forest, who missed the chance to confirm their Premier League survival in style.

Pochettino said: “I never said that I am not happy. I said maybe I am happy, maybe I am unhappy.

“I never said I am not happy. It is a normal headline and sometimes too much honesty, talking. It is not a problem.

“I have one year more in my contract, like I said yesterday, I am thinking long term and thinking for a life here. We are working because we are professional and thinking to win games and trying to make the owners happy, trying to make the staff, players and fans happy.

“I had an honest conversation in the press conference. To clarify, if the owner is happy with my job we can continue.

“I am always a coach who is thinking long term. All departments must be happy for us to be a good team to compete. I still have one more year in my contract and I am thinking to be here.”

“I am thinking long term and thinking for a life here. – Mauricio Pochettino”

Chelsea were heading for defeat at the City Ground as goals from Willy Boly and Callum Hudson-Odoi put Forest 2-1 up after Mykhailo Mudryk’s opener.

But quickfire efforts from Raheem Sterling and Nicolas Jackson earned the win that saw Chelsea remain in the hunt for Europa League or Europa Conference League qualification.

Reece James returned for the first time since December and immediately set up Jackson’s winner and Pochettino believes the England defender could be fit for Euro 2024.

“Massive, unlucky we only have two games ahead and one week, but it is important for him to recover his feeling,” Pochettino said.

“He an important player for us, he is our captain and we all love him. (Let’s) see if he can be fit to have the chance to play in the Euros.

“He is doing well in the training session. After four or five months it is not the same to train as to compete, but, if he has the possibility to compete in the next two games (and) if his coach in the national team believes he can go to the competition, I think he will be ready.”

Forest had looked set to seal their top-flight status with a win, but they are still all but safe from relegation.

They are three points above 18th-placed Luton and 12 goals better off with one game left, so it would take some turnaround for them to go down on the final day.

But given the season they have had, with a four-point deduction for breaking Premier League financial rules and resentment at the refereeing decisions they feel have gone against them, boss Nuno Espirito Santo is not counting his chickens.

“It is not over,” Nuno said. “It is virtually. But maybe I am the only person who has seen too many things in football to allow our players to relax.

“We are going to prepare properly for the next one to finish the season on a high – a season that has been so hard on all of us as a club.”