Mason Mount believes Chelsea can still turn our Champions League quarter-final tie with Real Madrid back in our favour next week, but admits the task at hand is a monumental one.
The Blues looked to have got a foot back into the game after Kai Havertz pulled a goal back just before half-time but, after a mix-up in defence, Karim Benzema was on hand to complete his hat-trick and secure a 3-1 first leg victory for the Spanish side.
Thomas Tuchel’s side probed for another goal in the second half, attempting 12 shots to Real’s one, but despite our best efforts we couldn’t get past former Blues goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and add to our tally.
Instead of ruing the missed chances, Mount instead described our collective defensive errors as one of the main reasons for our defeat.
‘It was a very tough loss. It has been two tough losses in a row, and we need to pick ourselves up. The philosophy of Chelsea is that we’re always underdogs and we can climb the mountain that seems impossible at times,’ Mount said after playing his 150th game for the Blues.
‘That is what we have to do now, we have a massive game next week away at their place and hopefully we can come back and do it.
‘The last time we played conceding goals very quickly, it kills the game and it has happened again. We've conceded two goals very quickly and when that happens, it is very difficult to get back into it. We kept playing and trying, sometimes it didn’t come off. We’re playing against a very good team, and we needed to be on it and at 100 per cent and at times we weren’t.
‘These things happen in football. We will stick together and we will have to do that until the end of the season.’
When asked to comment on whether the players were mentally prepared for such a huge match with the record winners of this European competition, the Cobham graduate instead pointed to the minor mistakes that eventually proved costly.
‘Mentally we were ready for the game but when you are playing top opposition these things happen,' Mount added. 'Conceding goals very quickly always make it tough to get back into the game.
‘At the end of the first half we got one back but then obviously we conceded again and this is stuff we can look at and focus on. This is football and when you are playing at the top level, little things can punish you.’
Yet despite trailing 3-1 ahead of the second leg in the Spanish capital, the 23-year-old still believes there is enough ability and belief in the Chelsea camp to bounce back and turn the tie around.
‘This is football, anything is possible. We have to give it everything,’ he explained. ‘We know how tough it will be. We need to regroup, attacking every game 100 per cent.
‘Every game is a final now. We have a massive mountain to climb but we are Chelsea and if there is a team that can do it, it is us. We will give it everything as we have that hunger and desire to really accomplish something.’