Chelsea are instilling a stronger competitive spirit in their young squad as they work to really launch their careers by winning titles, manager Mauricio Pochettino said ahead of their League Cup final against Liverpool.

Pochettino's project to turn an expensively assembled squad into title contenders and reclaim Chelsea's status as one of the best clubs in England is showing signs of fruition as players find their rhythm as a cohesive unit.

Chelsea suffered a 4-1 defeat to Liverpool in the Premier League last month, but since then, they have beaten Aston Villa 3-1 in the FA Cup and managed to draw 1-1 with champions Manchester City last weekend.

"Things are changing. Did you see at the beginning of the season this type of behaviour from the players? To celebrate as a block, all together, to encourage each other," Pochettino told reporters.

"When you plant a seed you don't see results at the start but it begins to grow. That is the process of all new teams - to build this competitive spirit.

"Winning titles will be a good way to arrive at this capacity of competing well. Being second is the worst thing in the world. We are going to build the players' careers and our careers by winning trophies."

Pochettino is hoping to lift English silverware for the first time after missing out on the opportunity with his former club, Tottenham Hotspur, when they lost the League Cup final to Chelsea in 2015 and subsequently crashed out in two FA Cup semi-finals.

A win at Wembley would mean a sixth League Cup for Chelsea, having lost their last five domestic Cup finals, including the League Cup and FA Cup to Liverpool in 2021-22.

(Reporting by Shifa Jahan in Bengaluru; Editing by Christopher Cushing)