EPL

Tuchel excited by Lampard favourite Mount: He can perform for any manager!

By Sports Desk February 05, 2021

Thomas Tuchel is convinced Mason Mount will show him the same dedication he gave Frank Lampard and prove that nice guys can win in football.

The young England midfielder was portrayed with some justification as a protege and favourite of Lampard, who was sacked by Chelsea last month after a slump in results.

Mount was quick to thank Lampard for his guidance after the Blues board decided the club legend had to go, and was then left out of Tuchel's first starting XI.

However, former Paris Saint-Germain boss Tuchel has been quickly won over by Mount's charms, with the 22-year-old restored to the line-up for the wins over Burnley and Tottenham.

A regular start is Mount's for the taking, as long as he continues to make progress, with Tuchel believing there is plenty more to come from the creative youngster.

"On Mason, I cannot tell you where his limit is. It is obvious that he has a lot of potential," Tuchel said.

"Besides that he's a great footballer, he is a super nice guy. He is eager to win, he is hungry to learn, he is open-minded and he can perform for any manager.

"This is the best thing. He really means it, he has this internal motivation and he is a very nice guy with a big personality and what else can you wish for?

"He was always very good. Under Frank he was a regular starter and it was clear he was a team player with the potential that he has.

"We didn't pick him for the first game because we opted for a slightly different profile for the two number 10 positions. When he came in, he showed what a big influence he can have from the bench.

"You can be very sure that Mason leaves his heart on the pitch for Chelsea, and this is what we need. He is an absolute team player."

Mount occupied a 'false nine' role for much of the 1-0 win at Tottenham on Thursday, which lifted Chelsea to sixth place in the Premier League, but he left the pitch feeling he could have done better with a number of chances.

The message from Tuchel was one of reassurance.

"He is still young, there is still room to improve, but I told him not to worry," the head coach said.

"You can be more decisive and even more dangerous with your decisions in the very last minutes of the match, but if we have to suffer, we suffer and we defend, and for that I am very happy with his performances.

"I told the team if things get complicated or if things are not too easy getting a second or third goal, we have to experience moments where we can win a game like this – we have to experience it, it is not enough for the coach to tell you.

"This is what we did. We played with Mason dropping from a nine to a 10 position because we wanted two wide strikers and to have Mason finding the space between the lines. He did good."

Chelsea travel to face bottom-of-the-table Sheffield United on Sunday, with Tuchel looking for a fourth successive clean sheet at the outset of his career with the Blues.

He will take nothing for granted against a United side who, like Chelsea, are on an upswing in form themselves, having begun the campaign desperately.

United have won three of their four home Premier League matches against Chelsea (L1), winning twice in 1993 and 3-0 last season.

A more telling statistic may be that United have won two of their last three home league games (L1), netting as many goals in those three games as they had in their previous nine at Bramall Lane (4).

"The important thing is not to lose focus," Tuchel said.

"Maybe we need some changes so that we are sharp again, physical again and able to compete on the highest level in an away game against a strong, physical Sheffield United side that won the last game. This is all we have an influence on."

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