Rudiger: Top four destiny is in our hands

Toni Rudiger believes Chelsea are in control of our own destiny as we search for a top-four finish this season.

With Chelsea’s win at Liverpool in midweek, Thomas Tuchel stretched his unbeaten start as head coach to 10 games, with Mason’s Mount’s goal securing a big three points in a game we dominated. It pushed the Blues into fourth place in the Premier League.

Another huge game awaits us on Monday night, when Carlo Ancelotti returns to Stamford Bridge with Everton – incidentally a year on since we last played in front of a full crowd at our home stadium against the same opposition – with Rudiger expecting another tough test against a top-four competitor.

‘I will expect exactly the same sort of intensive game again because Everton are also a good team,’ said Rudiger.

‘They are on a good run at the moment and are in good form, but we are too. It will be an exciting game and we are up for it.

‘We just have to look forward. We have good momentum, which is all we have to think about. We have to think only about getting three points because, again, it’s a tough game and they are also a competitor for the top four.

‘It was a massive three points against Liverpool because it was also against a competitor for the top four, so it gives us more. Chelsea against Liverpool is always a classic game and to win at Anfield and take the three points home with us was massive.

‘It felt like a complete performance. Everyone worked off the ball and if we were more clinical, we could have done much better. But the defensive display from everyone was spot on and we can take a lot of confidence into Everton now.’

Rudiger has established himself as a key part of Tuchel’s Chelsea project, featuring regularly in a three-man defence alongside Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen.

The German is enjoying life under his countryman and states that our head coach has the ability to change our mentality depending on how a game is going. At the moment, the Chelsea players are encouraged to press high and it’s a formula that is certainly reaping the rewards currently.

‘Things are going well but we can always change shape to suit the game,’ added Toni.

‘It depends on what the coach wants. You can play three at the back and sit but you can also play three at the back and press high.

‘We always said that the defensive work starts from the front and that’s why I said we all did well the other night. At some point, against a team like Liverpool you also have to sit back but it’s no problem, we have to adapt to it which we did really well.

‘The coach always speaks to us and he always tells us to play our football. Like we are at the moment, to keep pressing high. He is making us feel that we should always stay calm, never worry and he advises us exactly what to do and this is what we are doing.'