- Chelsea beat Blackburn 2-0 in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night
- Reece James made his second start of the season after recovering from injury
- Listen to the latest episode of the Mail Sport podcast “It’s starting!”
Chelsea coach Mauricio Pochettino is taking a “cautious approach” with captain Reece James, who made his second start this season in the Blues’ 2-0 Carabao Cup win over Blackburn.
James, who is on the way back to full fitness after suffering a hamstring injury in August, played 61 minutes on Wednesday before being swapped for Malo Gusto.
Benoit Badiashile opened the scoring on his first appearance of the season, while Raheem Sterling added a second after the break to secure the Blues’ quarter-final clash with Newcastle.
Pochettino said: “The plan was to check at half-time how.” [James] That was the feeling and after 15 minutes he starts to feel tired and we are checking from the second half and we have to be careful how we handle him.
“We choose to make the change because I think it’s important now to move forward and sometimes make sure we don’t go back.” [you] Play 90 minutes and maybe take a few risks, but we have to avoid that.
Mauricio Pochettino said he was “careful” with captain Reece James
The Blues captain made his first start since August in Wednesday night’s 2-0 win over Blackburn in the Carabao Cup
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“It is true that we cannot avoid risks 100 percent, but the plan is to proceed step by step.”
Badiashile, who had not played for Chelsea since May, took the lead after half an hour after Leopold Wahlstedt’s save was deflected into his path.
Referee Tim Robinson responded to both teams with penalties before half-time, including a possible handball on Conor Gallagher that could have given the visitors momentum, but Sterling’s shot on goal from the corner made it a comfortable second half for the hosts.
Blackburn had their chances – Harry Leonard shot wide just after half-time and substitute Arnor Sigurdsson went close in stoppage time – but it never seemed close to one in front of the 3,000 fans who had made their way south Comeback to come.
Jon Dahl Tomasson was convinced his Rovers side should have been awarded a penalty but was pleased with how well his young side responded to their top-flight opponents.
James, who is recovering from a hamstring injury, played 61 minutes before being substituted
The Danish coach, who believes cup football is “extremely important”, said: “It was a great challenge and I think our fans will be proud of this young Rovers team playing against a top team in Europe.”
“The millionaires from the Premier League take on the young talent from the Championship and take on such a challenge and achievement. I think the boys will learn a lot from this game.”
“When you play at this level you have to make a decision pretty quickly, the intensity is high, the decision making has to be right and I thought we actually had some great attacks on the ball as well.”
“I’m sure this young group will get a lot out of this game.”