Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has insisted he has no problem with the club's owners coming into the team dressing room after matches.
Reports at the weekend suggested that co-owner Behdad Eghbali visited the dressing room at Stamford Bridge following Chelsea's disappointing home defeat against Aston Villa.
Chelsea have now won just one of their opening six Premier League games and find themselves 14th in the table, coming on the back of last season's 12th-place finish.
It is estimated that the club have spent £1 billion on players in three transfer windows since Todd Boehly took charge of the club in May 2022, although they did recoup around £230 million in sales during the summer.
Pochettino only became manager on May 29 and has overseen a huge turnover in players as well as suffering a number of key injuries, including new £52 million striker Christopher Nkunku – who will be a long-term absentee – and captain Reece James.
After the defeat against Villa, the Argentine coach asked for time to turn around the club's fortunes. “They [the owners] are disappointed, they arrived at the club and are so excited to build a project,” he said on Sunday. “Of course they feel disappointed but at the same time they need to support the plan.”
But whatever the teething problems Pochettino is experiencing, the fact that the owners are dropping in to see the players after games is not one of them – a point he wanted to make clear in Tuesday's press conference ahead of their League Cup third-round match at home to Brighton.
“I like when the owner comes [into the dressing room]. In all my career as a coach – at Espanyol, then Southampton, Tottenham, Paris Saint-Germain also. I think it is good that the owner comes into the dressing room. It is the way that they approach the players that is most important.
“If they are in a good way and an encouraging way then I think they are very welcome. After the game on Sunday they came and shared [time] with us like normal. They also did for Liverpool, in the first [Premier League] game, then Luton, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa.
“I don't see in a bad way. For me it is good always if they share with us [the coaching staff] then can say hello to the players.
“The difference is if they came for some speech or different things then maybe that is different.
“In the way they came, of course they are very welcome. They own the club, they can do whatever they want, but I think they come in a very good way and I am so glad they came and they shared time with us.”
One issue that Pochettino admits is a source of concern has been the team's lack of goals with Chelsea now having gone three games in a row without scoring and have managed to find the back of the net just five times in six league matches. Only Luton Town and Burnley have scored less, and they have played a game fewer.
“We are not clinical in front of goal. That is what we need to try to fix and to give more confidence to our offensive players. That is the responsibility of everyone,” said the 51-year-old coach, who had also urged his team to be more clinical before the Villa loss.
“In all the other data I think we are in a very positive [state], but the most important thing is to score goals. You don't score goals you cannot win games.”