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Chelsea’s Pochettino unhappy at being forced to play on Christmas Eve

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has backed calls by a fans’ group for the Premier League to change the scheduling of the Blues’ trip to Wolves on Christmas Eve.

It is the first English top-flight fixture to be scheduled for December 24 since 1995, a decision branded by the Chelsea Supporters’ Trust as “totally unacceptable.”

Pochettino has personal reasons to protest at the scheduling as Argentines celebrate Christmas on the night of the 24th and his wedding anniversary is the day before.

“Our fans are not happy? Me neither. The 23rd is my anniversary with my wife and now I need to travel to Wolves,” said Pochettino on Friday.

“I believe I am not going to convince her to come.

“The 24th for Argentine people is a really important night and I hope to arrive (home) in time to celebrate after. But if our fans are not happy, I am not happy also.

“(The decision) is not easy to change, but we need to accept we are in England and it’s different to the rest of the world. I need to adapt myself.

“But even if I’m not happy, I need to do my best to be at my best level and accept it’s a situation we cannot change.”

After a slow start to Pochettino’s reign, Chelsea appear to be finding their feet with a four-game unbeaten run.

And they could be further boosted by the return of £52 million ($63 million) forward Christopher Nkunku next month.

The France international is yet to play a competitive game for his new club after suffering a knee injury in pre-season.

Pochettino’s men, who host Brentford on Saturday, badly missed the presence of a goalscorer in the early weeks of the season as they won just one of their first six Premier League games.

“(Nkunku) is doing really well, working hard, I think he’s really close,” said Pochettino. “As soon as possible we can have him involved again.

“After the next internationals maybe he could be involved.

“He’s a player that when you see the goals he scored last season, (you see) he provides goals, and I think we’re missing goals. That’s why we think he’s a player that can be important for us.

“He’s proved he can score goals in the Bundesliga. If today we had eight or 10 goals from Nkunku, maybe the situation (in the league) would be completely different.”

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