I’m not afraid to bench Sterling for this player – Pochettino

Raheem Sterling
Photo: Getty images

Raheem Sterling has not started a game for Chelsea since his poor display before the international break.

The 29-year-old was subjected to boos and jeers from a good portion of Chelsea fans following his poor display.

Pochettino has instead played Sterling as a substitute against Burnley and Manchester United, before being unused sub against Sheffield United.

Chelsea have another home game against Everton on Monday, and Pochettino has rather insisted his selection decisions are not influenced by the fans.

Noni Madueke has been playing more games of late, and Pochettino has put it down to form rather than Chelsea fans’ perception of Raheem Sterling.

“No, it’s because we assess all the player’s performance, and I think we need to be fair, or trying to be fair, and we gave the opportunity to Noni Madueke to play,” Pochettino told reporters.

“And to put [Cole] Palmer in another position to find a good balance. You know, we’ve got to get [someone] on the left, and I think it’s because we assess the player’s form and then make a decision. It’s only for that.

“Not because of the situation, [that isn’t] going to make me change my mind. And I think the team is not suffering for this. It’s only because I analyse the form of the player. And then I need to make decisions.

“He didn’t play in Sheffield because, in the same way we assess the squad, we assess the player, and we assess the player’s form.

“It’s the feeling like we had today [in training]. We got some feelings because we see the players training every day.

“We, in our opinion and assessment, believe that they are the best players to play because they are performing well or better than another. You know that’s how we made the choice.”