Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino is confident he maintains the support of the club's hierarchy amid growing doubts over his long-term future.

The Argentine, who signed a two-year contract with the option of a third at Stamford Bridge last July, is under increasing pressure following the 1-0 Carabao Cup final loss to a depleted Liverpool on Sunday.

The Blues spent a record-breaking £435M in the summer transfer window - £220M more than the second-highest spending Premier League club - but find themselves closer to the relegation zone than Champions League qualification having recorded the same amount of wins as losses.

The 51-year-old is the fourth manager since Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali took control as co-owners in 2022 following the dismissals of Thomas Tuchel and Graham Potter, who both failed to last a full season under the American ownership.

But Pochettino, yet to taste silverware in England, remains positive he maintains the backing of the hierarchy and is confident he will be given time to prove he is the right man for the job.

Speaking ahead of the FA Cup fifth-round clash against Leeds, he said: “I feel the support from them [the owners], I cannot lie. When I went up [to receive the runner-up medal], I was so upset. I was so upset - nearly crying. When I arrived there, it was so difficult.

"What I saw first was Behdad and we shook hands. I saw Todd and we shook hands, then I walked down. Todd sent a text, a very nice text to me. And then I met Behdad after two hours, outside in London.

Pochettino met with <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/24/chelsea-fc/1173717-money-cant-buy-trophies-says-pochettino.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/24/chelsea-fc/1173717-money-cant-buy-trophies-says-pochettino.html'>Todd Boehly</a></strong> and Behdad Eghbali after the <strong><a  data-cke-saved-href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/26/chelsea-fc/1173960-opinion-the-damning-verdict-on-mauricio-pochettino.html' href='https://www.vavel.com/en/football/2024/02/26/chelsea-fc/1173960-opinion-the-damning-verdict-on-mauricio-pochettino.html'>Carabao Cup</a></strong> final (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Pochettino met with co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali after the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

“He was really good, was happy with the performance after 90 minutes and disappointed, like all [of us], that we couldn’t keep the energy in extra time to win the game. I think everyone saw this. I understand the situation - that is football.

“I am confident [I will be given time] until they decide to tell me something else. But at the moment I don't think they are going to say anything different."

He added: "The new owners arrived with the right intentions, they want to build something that is different from the past and that is what we need to understand. There will be ups and downs but this is only the beginning."

  • 'Tough' to qualify for Europe

The manager's future could hinge on whether the London outfit - languishing in 11th - secure European qualification.

The Blues are 17 points adrift of the top four and nine points off Manchester United in sixth - and Pochettino accepts delivering European football for next season will be an uphill task.

He said: “Of course we wanted to win the Carabao Cup, we want to win the FA Cup, we want to win the Premier League. Now it’s tough - this is the reality. Before the start of the season, these were always the objectives.

"Now the reality is to see if we can qualify to play in Europe next season. Of course it’s going to be tough because of the circumstances and the reality."

Pochettino's position could become untenable if Chelsea fail to qualify for Europe (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Pochettino's position could become untenable if Chelsea fail to qualify for Europe this season  (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Asked how the expectations of managing Chelsea compare to his previous jobs at Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham, the Argentine said: "It's similar. We are talking about big teams. We need to work and we need to be patient because we are building in a different way to succeed. It's always about time.

"I have good people next to me, the coaching staff, the staff of the club, the players. We need time. We need patience from the owners to give [us] the possibility to keep going."