Mykhailo Mudryk was replaced at half time in Chelsea’s 6-1 win against Middlesbrough (PA)
Chelsea have booked their place at Wembley on February 25 where they will play either Fulham or Liverpool after a comprehensive victory over the Championship club at Stamford Bridge.
However, Mudryk struggled to impress in the first half and Chelsea’s £88.5 million signing lasted just 45 minutes as he was replaced by Noni Madueke at the break after picking up a yellow card.
Asked why Mudryk was subbed at half time, Pochettino said: ‘If you watch the game, he got a yellow card.
‘He got a yellow card and then there was an action at the end of the first half that was too risky, he nearly touched the opponent and got a second [yellow card], and we did not want to take a risk with him.’
Asked if his side had a problem with needless yellow cards during games, Pochettino said: ‘Yes, I think it was an unnecessary risk to have him on the pitch. That is why we changed it.’
Cole Palmer scored twice in Chelsea’s 6-1 win over Middlesbrough in the Carabao Cup semi final (Getty)
Pochettino also believes Chelsea’s trip to Wembley next month will also help improve the mentality and confidence of his players.
‘Yes, I think this is really important for us, of course. We are going to have Fulham or Liverpool – two amazing teams, it is going to be difficult. But now we need to believe that we can win,’ Pochettino said.
‘But I think it’s important step for us because of the confidence and belief in ourselves and then that is going to help because of the motivation.
‘And so many players are close to coming back to the team. Maybe they are going to look tomorrow and want to train because they see the final is so close.
‘Of course, I think today is going to help this team because we don’t have the possibility to play in the Champions League or be in Europe. This type of experience, to go to Wembley, it’s going to build our trust and confidence and our mentality.
‘The club, I think Chelsea’s mentality is amazing, in terms of they want to win. But we are a new team. We need to build this confidence and trust. To go to Wembley and play a final with Liverpool or Fulham now.’
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‘It was an unnecessary risk to have him on the pitch.’