BOURNEMOUTH: Mauricio Pochettino insisted he would not condemn the Chelsea fans who booed his team after Sunday's drab 0-0 draw against lowly Bournemouth.

The Blues have made their second worst ever start to a Premier League campaign following a lacklustre performance at the Vitality Stadium.

With just one win from five league games, Chelsea are closer to the relegation zone than the top four.

It has been a wretched start to Pochettino's reign after his close-season appointment and for the second successive game his team were booed off by angry supporters.

Chelsea defender Ben Chilwell appeared to endure extra abuse when he went towards the Blues fans in one corner of the stadium at the final whistle.

Despite a spending spree of over £1 billion since Todd Boehly's consortium purchased Chelsea from Roman Abramovich in 2022, the west London club are in a bigger mess than ever.

Despite an injury crisis that forced Pochettino to name three outfield players aged 19 or under on the bench as well as two goalkeepers, the Argentine said he couldn't complain about the fans' jeers.

“What can we do? For me, I have nothing to say. The fans can do whatever they want,“ he said.

“We know what we need to do, we are strong in our belief. We have 12 injured and today we had three or four young guys and two keepers on the bench.

“I’m going to cry? I’m going to complain? To who? I need to accept this, the challenge and keep being positive.”

Asked whether he was sympathetic to the reaction of the supporters, Pochettino added: “What I can tell the fans is there are circumstances that we cannot change.

“We have too many players injured. We’re a team that would be strong if we are together. Manchester City, Arsenal, when they have all the squad fit, they can compete for everything.

“Why is it different for us? It’s because of what? We don’t have all the squad available from the beginning of the season.

“These are the circumstances we need to accept and be positive, patient.” - AFP