Marcos Alonso is the only player to have started each of our last six games, all won, so nobody is better placed than the left-back to analyse the reasons behind our impressive recent results.
Following an injury to Emerson Palmieri during the Liverpool game last month, Alonso has stepped in to the left side of our defence and produced a string of impressive performances in three different competitions, as well as making a typically decisive contribution in the victory over Newcastle a week ago.
It is in the midst of a good spell individually and collectively that he has cast his eye over the season so far, and identified the key to our current run of form.
‘After a bit of a difficult start, things are going better at the moment,’ the 28-year-old said.
‘We don’t forget how hard we’ve been working and how much hunger we showed to turn around the situation. We have to keep going this way, enjoy this moment now and try to keep winning games.
‘We sent another message with the win at Ajax: we are going to be a very difficult team to play. We are in a good moment and we need to keep working with the same humble attitude and work ethic we have been showing.
‘We are all enjoying it with Frank,’ Alonso added. ‘When you work really hard and then you see the team is getting better, you enjoy training, you’re getting results, that’s even more satisfying. We are very happy with the new manager and looking forward to more.’
In his fourth season at Chelsea now, Alonso is one of the more seasoned pros in what is a young dressing room. He feels the injection of youth this campaign has helped invigorate the group.
‘There are many new players who have had their chance and are showing their value. They are doing very well. They have brought very good energy to the team, and that mix with the experience that the older players have, the balance in the team is going really well and we are all enjoying the moment.
‘For the other players who have been here for a long time, it’s also good to keep demonstrating the level of play we are. It’s obviously a hard time when you cannot make signings and you lose good players, but the players here are showing we have the quality to do great things.’
Alonso’s first goal of the season proved to be the winner last weekend, and his contribution to Michy Batshuayi’s late strike in Amsterdam should not be overlooked, as he intelligently dummied Christian Pulisic’s cross allowing the ball to travel further into the danger zone. The Spaniard has scored more Premier League goals (17) than any other defender since he joined the Blues in the summer of 2016.
‘It’s not my main focus but of course it’s good to help the team with goals and assists. I feel good when it happens, but I know my main focus is to defend and I love that.
‘To win games sometimes I need to get more in attack, and sometimes I need to defend more, but the main thing is to focus on getting the three points every game, and I will manage when to go forward more and when to help the team in defence.’