Newly-appointed Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino has challenged his star-forward Kylian Mbappe to step up his form.
Pochettino made his managerial debut for PSG at Saint-Etienne on Wednesday night. However, things didn’t go as expected for the former Tottenham Hotspur tactician, as the reigning Ligue 1 champions were held to a dismal 1-1 draw to an out-of-sorts St Etienne side. Romain Hamouma broke the deadlock at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard to put the home team ahead, though Moise Kean brought the score back to level terms only three minutes later.
Unfortunately for Pochettino, his injury-hit side failed to complete the turnaround despite creating several clear-cut opportunities in the final 20 minutes of play. As a result, Les Parisiens now trail top-placed Lyon by three points. Not the kind of impact the Argentine was hoping for after replacing Thomas Tuchel in the dugout. Indeed, Poch has returned to the realm of management after being sacked from Tottenham in November 2019.
Pochettino has been far from impressed with what he saw from his players last night. The leading Ligue 1 goal-scorer, Kylian Mbappe, failed to hit the net, which has been spotted by the 48-year-old manager, who expects to see one of his standout performers raise his game as soon as possible.
Mauricio Pochettino has a message for Kylian Mbappe 😬— Goal News (@GoalNews) January 7, 2021
“I am happy with his performance, of course, but he needs to improve,” answered Pochettino when asked about Mbappe’s showing at St Etienne, via Marca.
“I’m sure he wants to score and play better and win games. For sure, he’s disappointed.
“All the players need to improve, and the team needs to improve. It’s only the beginning, as we only arrived three days ago.
“We are disappointed because we didn’t win. I think we created enough chances in the second half to score.
“We were unlucky that we didn’t score and didn’t get the three points.”
Pochettino’s side will have the chance to rectify their mistakes as early as Saturday when they play host to Brest.