Exclusive: Joe Cole urges Chelsea fans to ‘give him time’ after Jackson struggles v Man City

Kevin Palmer
Chelsea icon Joe Cole on TNT Sports duty
Joe Cole on TNT Sports duty

Joe Cole has pleaded with Chelsea supporters to show patience with striker Nicolas Jackson after his disastrous performance in last Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.

FA Cup holders City snatched a late winning goal through Bernardo Silva after Mauricio Pochettino’s Chelsea side and Jackson in particular missed a glut of chances to open the scoring at Wembley.

The defeat ended their hopes of saving their season by winning a trophy and Jackson came under fire on social media after the match.

Yet Cole – who won three Premier League titles during his time at Chelsea – has urged the snipers to hold their fire before writing off the 22-year-old marksman.

“When you are setting up a team to play against Manchester City, there are so many things you have to get right to have a chance because they are an elite side,” said Cole at a TNT Sport event.

Chelsea got so much right in that game against City and it was just their finishing that let them down.

“I felt for the team and I felt for Nic Jackson as well. Everyone was talking about the chances he had missed, but he does so much for the team aside from scoring goals.

“He does a lot of things right. He runs the channels, he’s a handful, he is learning and developing.

“The trouble with young strikers is they can miss chances. He has to find a way to improve that aspect of his game.

“He is a good footballer. If he can pop that goal ratio up 10 or 20 per-cent, he is going to be a top striker because he is young and has time on his side.

“The criticism that came his way? First of all, looking at social media for comments on a game is not the right thing to do. Jackson is a good young player, just give him time.”

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Chelsea boss Pochettino is under huge pressure after a desperately disappointing first season at the club that may now end without qualification for any European competition.

Yet Cole insists the transfer model Chelsea have adopted will not produce instant results, as he backed Pochettino to remain in his role.[Text Wrapping Break]”I think Pochettino is doing a good job,” added Cole. “I think he is a fantastic manager and his team are proven as well.

“When he came in the door, he was given the task of working with the youngest squad of any club that sees themselves as one of the teams that should be at the top of the table.

“Chelsea are going down a route of signing young players, nurturing them, developing them and trying to add value the players as an asset. At the same time, they want to bring the team back to the top end of European football.

“That is a very difficult thing to do at a time when everything is changing at a football club.

“Honestly, I think they are caught between the policy of signing young players and trying to win and it isn’t really working.

“There is demand from the fans to be at the top of the table, the owners have spent enough to be there and what they have is a lot of young players who need to be given time to develop.

“When you have a lot of young players all in the same team, it can slow down their educational process. You need a few senior players around to guide them.

“So I would say bring in some of those more experienced players to set the standards and set the tone and that will massively help these young players to improve and grow with the club.”

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