Callum Hudson-Odoi was glad to repay Frank Lampard's trust in him at Rennes and is eager to make the most of every chance he gets in the starting line-up.
With so much competition for places in the Blues squad, the young winger has had to be patient so far this season, but looked lively as he posed a constant threat to our opponents in France last night and scored the opening goal.
That means Hudson-Odoi has now found the net on his last two starts for Chelsea, both in the Champions League, away at Rennes and Krasnodar. While he is obviously keen to impress Lampard whenever he is given a chance to shine, the 20-year-old insists his main focus is just on helping the team win.
‘Every game that you play you want to go out there and give your best,’ he explained. ‘I think that everybody’s playing really well at the moment and we want to keep improving, keep working hard and keep our momentum going.
‘So every opportunity I get I just want to take it, hopefully keep getting goals, getting assists for the team, working hard for the team. But really I am happy that we got the three points and we won the game.’
Hudson-Odoi’s first-half goal in Rennes was made in the Chelsea Academy, as the winger slotted home after fellow graduate Mason Mount had won the ball in midfield and picked out his run with a brilliant pass in behind. However, according to Hudson-Odoi, he never had any doubt his team-mate would produce that kind of assist.
‘I know Mason, he works really hard, he presses it well in the middle. As soon as he won the ball I thought to myself “take off” because I knew that I was in front of the full-back and I knew that he would find me straight away. His vision is amazing and he saw me straight away, which I was happy about, and I got in there and I scored a goal so I’m really happy.’
We didn’t have things all our own way at Roazhon Park, though, as some late drama saw Rennes equalise before Olivier Giroud’s injury-time header gave us victory. That win also made us the first team to qualify for the knockout stages of this season’s Champions League, quickly followed by Sevilla, Barcelona and Juventus.
‘It’s amazing,’ added Hudson-Odoi. ‘When we went out there, we knew that if we got the win we could be going through so we pushed and pushed and pushed until the end. It was unfortunate to concede a goal but we dug deep, got the extra goal at the end and we’re delighted to go through.’