Mason Mount has revealed he feared the worst when he was the victim of a challenge that brought his Champions League debut to a premature end just under a week ago.
Anyone who witnessed the young attacking midfielder’s emotions when he was forced off against Valencia with only a quarter-of-an-hour played can guess what was going through his head. His ankle had been hurt by a foul from former Arsenal man Francis Coquelin.
‘As soon as I did it I thought it was going to be a long-term injury,’ Mount has reported.
‘But then I iced it and it calmed down and I realised it was not as bad as I first thought. The next day I was jogging on it a little and from then I knew there was a chance of me being involved [against Liverpool yesterday].
‘There is still swelling there now but it is solid and I felt good and I trained the day before. I was pretty positive the day before the game that I would be involved.’
Prior to yesterday’s game Frank Lampard revealed he had quizzed the 20-year-old for an honest appraisal of his condition and what followed, with Mount playing the 90 minutes, proved no risk had been taken.
‘You have to block the injury out of your mind and focus on the game,’ the player says. ‘When I had that chance which I felt I should have scored I rolled my ankle a little bit and it felt fine. It was fine throughout the whole game. It was solid.
‘Your Champions League debut, you don’t want it to end so soon,’ he adds, looking back to the previous game, ‘but that is football, it happened, and I try to stay positive. I looked forward to the Liverpool game and set a goal that hopefully I could get ready for that. I feel like I am a quick recoverer and we worked on it hard and I was able to get back.’
Assessing this weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Liverpool, Mount feels plenty of encouragement can be taken from the way we performed having gone 2-0 down.
‘We were playing one of the best teams in the league and in the second half I thought we dominated it. They had chances and with the players they have, they are always going to create chances but overall in the second half we were very dominant and we had chances when we could have scored.
‘If you look at the games we have had, you can take positives from every game but we need to win at home, that is a big focus. We are doing well away but now the focus is on building a fortress at home so when teams come here they know it is going to be a tough game, and we showed that in the second half.
‘The set-pieces are causing trouble. When you switch off at set-pieces at this level you get punished. That is something we will look at and we have been looking at and we need to keep working on.’
Mount feels the Stamford Bridge crowd is encouraging the players despite the results in the early part of the campaign.
‘The fans see how much we put into the game and how hard we work for the whole game. They probably feel as much as us that we could have got something from the game and it could easily have been a draw. They can see how much we are running and want to win the game. That home win is due and we need to focus on that.’