Mateo Kovacic has praised the character shown by the Chelsea players against Norwich on Saturday, as the Blues recorded our first win of the season at Carrow Road.

Frank Lampard’s side fought hard to see off a resolute Norwich side, winning 3-2 in Norfolk thanks to a brace from Tammy Abraham either side of a Mason Mount strike.

Kovacic impressed in midfield and he reflected on a hard-earned three points when giving his verdict after the game.

‘It was a tough three points and we had to work hard for them,’ the Croatian explained. ‘But we showed a lot of character and we had to, because we needed this win.

‘The manager has given me more freedom to get up and support the attacks, I can collect the ball and drive forward. I feel good, I have a great connection with the manager and his coaching team and of course with my team-mates.

‘I feel better to be a Chelsea player, compared to last season when I was only on loan. I feel more confident, I’m more relaxed because I know this is my home now and I feel really good.

‘I think I can still show more in my play because I know I can still improve for the team, but overall I’m very happy.’

The Croatian midfielder also held special praise for striker Abraham, who was clearly delighted to net his first senior goals for Chelsea, and Kovacic believes our No9 will only get better as the season goes on.

‘I have a good connection and understanding with Tammy and I think that comes naturally,’ added Mateo. ‘He’s a great talent and he is still young, so he can improve a lot.

‘I like his movement and he wants to make the runs that I want to play the passes for. He is working hard and everyone was so happy to see him score his goals. The whole team is working hard together, we have a great connection and I think we can only improve and get better as time goes on.

‘Every game and every goal is important and this will be great for Tammy to become more confident. He’s a fantastic striker, he is learning all the time and he will score more goals this season for sure.’