Interview

Mount on Chelsea’s room for improvement and his South Coast connection

Mason Mount is fit again and hoping to help the Blues get back on the victory trail when we face Southampton today.

The midfielder has been absent for our past two games, 1-0 losses to Manchester City and Juventus. Remarkably, the City fixture was the very first Premier League match he has missed through injury since he burst on to the scene at Stamford Bridge in August 2019.

Chelsea start the day in third place, a point off top, and in his assessment of our season so far Mount sees plenty of room for improvement.

‘If you look at the table, we are up there, but if we look at the performances we have put in, and what we could have done better, we would probably say there is so much more we can give,’ he said ahead of today’s game.

‘That is a positive because of where we are in the league. We know we can give more. That’s where we are at, and we are working each day to keep getting better and better and better.’

We meet a Saints side without a league victory this term but with creditable draws against both Manchester sides to their name already. As a boyhood Portsmouth fan, Mount is willing to admit it might just mean a little bit more than your average Premier League encounter.

‘It’s going to be a very tough game,’ he acknowledged.

‘They’ve done very well at Stamford Bridge the last couple of years. They are a team who are very tough to play against and make it very hard. They’re aggressive, they want to get stuck in, they want to tackle.

‘It’s just another game for me. Maybe!’

Of course, Mount’s South Coast roots meant he spent plenty of time on the A3 as a youngster travelling between Portsmouth and Cobham.

They were crucial days in his development into the world-class player he now is, and as he looks back on them, he considered the hard yards that were taken not just by him, but his family, too.

‘The difficult part was doing school, getting that out of the way, getting my training kit on, boots on, and going straight up to Cobham and training,’ he recalled.

‘I didn’t really think about how tiring it was. It was probably more tiring for my mum and dad who were taking me up there every week, putting in that dedication and helping me train.

‘I tried to get my homework done in the car on the way there, and probably not that well! On the way back I just slept the whole way, but I was playing football and that’s what I loved.’

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