The action-packed 2020/21 campaign continues apace at Turf Moor this afternoon, and ahead of the game against Burnley Mason Mount has been explaining how players deal with such a busy schedule from a physical and tactical standpoint.
The Blues have played every midweek possible since the first two fixtures of the season, when we enjoyed a six-day gap between the league encounters against Brighton and Liverpool. Then came the start of the Carabao Cup and subsequently the Champions League, with six matchdays played in consecutive midweeks either side of the November international break.
A Tuesday night trip to Molineux in mid-December means it won’t be until the build-up to Christmas Day we have a prolonged period of time to work at Cobham. Mount, who has been involved in all but one of our matches so far this season and is always full of running, is able to draw on previous experience when coping with such a hectic calendar.
‘The games are coming around quick,’ he acknowledged. ‘As soon as a game is finished, the focus is straight on the next one.
‘When there are so many games in a short space of time, you can’t take too long on looking back on a game or analysing a game too much. You have to look forward to the next and work on the training pitch on things we could have done better, and then try and put it into our next game.
‘That is something I learned from the Championship. When you play there the games come thick and fast; you have to be ready every time you play. Recovery is key in this period, especially when you are playing in top-level games we have got. It’s a tough period but we are definitely ready for it.’
Mount says much of the work at Cobham in recent times has been put into improving things defensively, and that has paid off with three consecutive clean sheets. Continuing to gel as a team, especially with so many new players, remains the target.
‘It’s not easy when you don’t have much of a pre-season,’ noted Mount. ‘We haven’t had loads of time to work together. The gaffer has been saying it’s the games where we have to learn and work out our problems, because we don’t have much time on the training pitch to work on it. It’s learning on the job.
‘It’s going to take time to click, we all know that and understand that. We want it to happen quickly but we are still learning about each other, especially the new ones that have come in, but I think we are on the right path and we are definitely going forward.’