Interview

Hudson-Odoi: Mentality key to ‘great performance’

Callum Hudson-Odoi believes it is the mentality of the Chelsea players that is the real reason behind our impressive victory over Juventus and the high-scoring form we have been producing recently.

The 21-year-old got his name on the scoresheet in an emphatic 4-0 win over the Italians at Stamford Bridge as we booked our place in the knockout stages of this season’s Champions League and overtook our opponents to take top spot in Group H.

This latest win was particularly impressive due to the calibre of our opposition and margin of our victory, as we completely dominated against one of Europe’s elite clubs, and comes hot on the heels of Saturday’s 3-0 victory away at Leicester City in the Premier League.

Hudson-Odoi believes the victory over Juve and our recent form in general owes much to the attitude displayed by the Chelsea players in every match.

‘It was a great performance, definitely,’ he said. ‘I think that the way we played, we made a big impact throughout the whole game. We had the right mentality, we came out strong and we got the goals we deserved from the get-go.

‘I think we did really well. We came out with the right mentality and the determination to win the game. We showed the passion and the desire to be clinical in front of goal, but also defend really well as well, which we did.

‘I’m really proud of the team, we came out really strong and hopefully we can continue being this strong for the whole season.’

Before Timo Werner added the icing on the cake with the fourth goal, Hudson-Odoi was joined on the scoresheet against Juventus by fellow Academy graduates Reece James and Trevoh Chalobah, the latter netting on his first start in the Champions League, and the winger admitted that playing and winning on such a big stage alongside so many players he has come through the ranks with is a wonderful feeling.

‘It’s definitely special. We’re playing in the biggest competition in the world and when we play together it’s a real joy. I’ve always said that it’s a nice feeling to know that all the Academy boys are playing together and everyone’s doing so well, so I’m really happy. Long may it continue.

‘We have good fun together. When you’re from the Academy and you’ve grown up together it’s a nice feeling to play with each other. You know you’re playing in the biggest competition in the world and it’s a tough competition, so you want to give it your best every game and you want to smile while you’re doing it as well.’

Having been used frequently as a wing-back by Thomas Tuchel previously, before his recent run in the side in his more natural position in the front three, Hudson-Odoi is also well placed to provide some insight into the brilliant form of James and Ben Chilwell, especially in the attacking third.

James found the net again against Juve, getting his fifth of the season to become Chelsea’s top scorer in all competitions, while Chilwell has three himself. However, according to their team-mate, it is just a product of their quality and the hard work put in at Cobham with Tuchel.

‘Obviously they’re doing really well in front of goal,’ added Hudson-Odoi. ‘We’re training really well and when we get on the pitch it shows that the training is working really well. They’re doing really well in that aspect but the attackers as well are doing well, so hopefully we will get more and catch up some of them.

‘We all have the right mentality. We all want to score goals and contribute to the game, whether it’s assists or goals. They have the right mentality as well, so they know that their first job is to defend, but when they get in and around the box they have the quality to put it in the back of the net as well. So they definitely work really well and it’s showing in the games as well.’

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