Mauricio Pochettino revealed Reece James’ return plan after the full-back was taken off just after the hour mark against Blackburn in the Carabao Cup.

Mauricio Pochettino Reveals Reece James Return Plan
Reece_James

The Chelsea manager is adopting a cautious strategy with James who made his second start of the season following a lengthy injury layoff during the Blues’ 2-0 victory over Blackburn.

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Thanks to goals from Benoit Badiashile and Raheem Sterling.

James had been nursing a hamstring injury that he picked up in August.

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Although he showed promise on his return to action.

However, Pochettino does not want to rush him.

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So, he replaced the full-back with Malo Gusto in the second half.

Management 

“The plan was to check at half-time how (James) was feeling.

“So after 15 minutes he starts to feel tired and we’re checking from the second half.

“However, we need to be careful how we manage him,” he told reporters.

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“We decided to make the change because I think it is important now, the progression, and being careful about not going back, sometimes (you) play 90 minutes and maybe take some risks, but we need to avoid this.

“It’s true that we cannot 100% avoid risk, but the plan is to go little by little.”

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Mauricio Pochettino admitted having James back into the mix was psychologically important as it not only boosted the morale of the team but also lifted the stadium.

“It’s really important, always.

“When you decide that he’s your captain it is important that they stay fit, can play and help the team,” he said.

“He’s an important player for us.

“He’s an amazing player, for me one of the best full-backs in the world.

“Unlucky that he only played 70-75 minutes against Liverpool in the first game and until today didn’t play.

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“The temptation is okay, come on go and play 90 minutes but we need to be careful.

“Little by little he is going to get fit and cope with the demand of the games.”

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