Reece James start his first match in EFL Cup for Chelsea since sustaining an injury at the beginning of the season.
Reece James has been working to regain full fitness following a hamstring injury in August. He played for 61 minutes in Wednesday’s match before being replaced by Malo Gusto.
Benoit Badiashile scored the opening goal in his first appearance of the season. Raheem Sterling added a second after halftime to secure Chelsea’s place in the quarter-finals, where they will face Newcastle.
Pochettino said: “The plan was to check at half-time how Reece James was feeling. After 15 minutes he starts to feel tired and we’re checking from the second half. We need to be careful how we manage him.
“We decide to make the change because I think it is important now, the progression. And being careful about not going back, sometimes you play 90 minutes and maybe take some risks. But we need to avoid this.
“It’s true that we cannot 100 per cent avoid risk. But the plan is to go little by little.”
Benoit Badiashile opened the scoring in the 30th minute after Leopold Wahlstedt’s save deflected favorably into his path. Referee Tim Robinson did not respond to penalty appeals from both teams. However, Sterling’s top-corner strike in the second half made it a comfortable period for the hosts. Blackburn had opportunities, but they never seemed close to staging a comeback in front of the 3,000 fans who had traveled to support them.