Chelsea and England midfielder Mason Mount insists that his side needs to stay mentally strong ahead of their away Champions League clash against Rennes at Krasnodar Stadium this evening.
The Blues go into the game in fine form, having won their last five matches in a row in all competitions.
However, Mount says that they must always be looking to do better and challenge for silverware.
“We know what we can achieve, we know the level of players in this group. We can never be content with being at the top of the group in the Champions League and going to the top of the league and being close to it, being around it. We can never be content with that. We know what we can do in this group and our goal is always to be number one and to push for titles,” Mount said in a pre-match conference.
“We definitely know we can do that and the most important thing at the moment is to keep that momentum going. Keep going from game to game and trying to go into the game with the mentality of winning it. When you keep that momentum going you kind of just go into every game and want to win, so I think we’re in a good place at the moment but we can’t get carried away. We know what we can do so it’s exciting times, but we’re also ready to keep working hard.”
Chelsea currently sit on top of Group C with seven points, followed by Sevilla with the same points. Goal difference separates the two sides.
“We’re ruthless and killing games off now, we need to stay mentally strong,” said the England international.
The club’s head coach Frank Lampard came out in defence of Mount, who has found himself on the receiving end of criticism on social media this season despite his impressive performances.
“Social media has changed the face of how people critique or talk about football. It’s very easy to sit on a phone and make harsh statements,” said Lampard.
“Mason looks clean-cut, he doesn’t do triple-stepovers and flicks over the back of his head. He makes really efficient sharp passes; he presses as well as any midfield player I’ve worked with or played alongside.
“There are 100 things in his game that impress the managers he works for. It’s very easy or casual to bracket him off. I don’t want to add fuel to the fire because I know Mason has got a lot to improve on, and that’s what takes you on to his attitude and desire to improve. He can score more goals, he can get more assists, but he is a quality player who is only going to get better.”
Mount added that he has learned to ignore criticism from outside the club and will focus on what his manager and the team need from him in order to win matches.
The youngster also added that he’s working on becoming the best player he can be rather than trying to win people over with eye-catching tricks and flicks.
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By Mauwane Raophala