Christian Pulisic followed up his Burnley hat-trick with what ultimately proved to be the winning goal against Watford yesterday but made it clear afterwards, he is far from taking his place in the team for granted.
The 21-year-old began the season as one of the regulars in the starting line-up before Frank Lampard turned to other options, explaining that care was needed to integrate such a young and new player who had very little rest over the summer.
Pulisic impressed when he was used as a substitute and has then taken his chance with both hands (or both feet in the case of two of his hat-trick goals last weekend) since being back in the original 11.
‘I feel confident and I feel good as part of this team and but the hard work does not stop now,’ said Pulisic after the 2-1 win at Watford. ‘I must keep working and learning my position.
‘I am going to keep working and I want to prove every week that I want to be in that line-up.
‘It is so much fun playing with these guys,’ he added. ‘They make it easy for me. It is a tight group we have and these guys help me so much.’
Pulisic praised the team play that led to his close-range finish to make the score 2-0 but admitted the win should have been made secure after that.
‘That last five or 10 minutes felt like a long time!’ he said.
‘Especially in the second half we were dominating a lot of it and once we got that second goal we needed a third to put the game away but that is what happens. We gave up a soft penalty kick I thought and Watford had confidence and made it close in the end. I am glad in the end we got the result.’
It needed an outstanding save from Kepa from his opposite number Ben Foster right at the end to preserve the three points.
‘He [Kepa] is unbelievable and he was there when we needed him most so we are all happy,’ said Pulisic.
‘It was closer than it needed to be. We were unfortunate with the penalty, we were really dominating the second half but Watford put up a good fight at the end.
‘That is where we want to be,’ he said of Chelsea’s position near the top of the table. ‘We are a big club and we need to fight to be as close to the top as we can.’