The FA Youth Cup returns with our young Blues facing a tricky away test against Watford. Charlie Webster spoke ahead of a fixture you can watch live on the website and 5th Stand app (UK only).
Ed Brand will be looking for another mature performance in this evening's clash against the Hornets as we head to Vicarage Road with kick-off set for 7pm UK time.
Ahead of this one, Charlie Webster spoke to us about his season, personally, and how he can contribute to this team's success.
'My game is moving in the right direction,' Webster said. 'I am training well, playing at a good standard, especially over the Christmas period. I feel really good, and above all, I am in the perfect environment where I learn from the best daily. I appreciate the challenges that have been placed before me and I just want to go out there and prove myself.
'I am very critical of myself, it was worse in my younger years, however I always like to see what part of my game I can improve and develop. I love being challenged and I set targets to ensure I can overcome any challenges that are set for me. I feel like if I sugar-coat things, I will not be able to see how much room for improvement there really is.
My main improvement point this season, which has been highlighted by all my managers, is developing further my ability to beat the press, as well as making me understand my defensive positioning as a midfielder. If I can improve all these this season, it will help me take my game to the next level.
Brand's boys were able to see off a spirited Leyton Orient in the previous round 4-1 but we can definitely expect an even tougher test against the Hornets. Webster spoke further on how the preparation of the game has been coming along.
'It has been really good despite the short turnovers between matches and competitions. I have a good feeling about this squad for the cup [FA Youth Cup]. The atmosphere is very positive, the coaches are putting us through our paces to get us ready. This is one of the biggest youth competitions in England so we go in with the mentality to win, no matter who our opposition are.'
Webster has been lucky to be in and around the men's first team in recent weeks, sitting on the bench against Brentford in the Carabao Cup as well as against Chesterfield in the FA Cup. This meant that he was training alongside the senior men's players of our football club and under the tutelage of Thomas Tuchel.
'Even though i did not make my Chelsea debut, the experience has been surreal,' he notes. 'I have taken on board everything that has been said to me and have just applied what I have known. Tuchel is a brilliant coach and I love his attention to detail. He made me understand that small details matter in every game.
'Mateo Kovacic has also been a major help. He is one of the best central midfielders in the world and I have learnt a lot from him. Taking this experience back to the squad will hopefully ensure that my game improves; ultimately affecting the team in a positive way.'
Brand had a few words to say about Webster too, highlighting that in this campaign he will need to continue the hard work that he has been putting in to improve.
'He is a top player, whose recent performances have been very good. The most important thing however is his attitude to hearing criticsm. He is actively working on improving the areas of his game where room for improvement exists.
We hope that of course he is taking on board all the advice he is getting from the first-team experiences and we will use that as a strength of ours.
The winners of this tie have been drawn to play either Liverpool or Burnley away from home with games to be played by Saturday 5 Februrary 2022.
Coverage of today's game on the website and 5th Stand app (UK only) begins at 6.55pm