Mason Mount believes now is the time to stick together and for strong characters to come to the fore as Chelsea look to begin life under Thomas Tuchel with a positive mentality.
Tuchel was appointed the new head coach on Tuesday evening following the departure of Frank Lampard at the start of the week.
For Mount, who spent a season on loan at Derby County under Lampard and thrived under his management over the past two-and-a-half years, it was understandably a difficult moment to experience and he admits he has been leaning on older team-mates in the dressing room for support.
‘It’s a tough time for the club,’ said the 22-year-old, reacting to the news this week. ‘I’ve been here for a very long time and seen managers depart from afar while being in the Academy but when you’re in the first team building and it happens, it’s a different feeling.
‘It’s something us younger players haven’t really experienced before but we speak to the likes of Azpi Cesar Azpilicueta and Petr Cech, who have been through it, and try to get any bit of experience from them on how to deal with it.’
Mount, like many of his Academy contemporaries, was trusted by Lampard and even captained the team in the FA Cup victory over Luton Town last weekend.
‘He’s been very important to me,’ the midfielder continued. ‘He brought me to Derby, gave me the playing time and I learnt so much under him there before coming back to Chelsea and continuing my learning.
‘I have nothing but praise and gratitude for everything he’s given me as a player on and off the pitch. I’ve definitely grown as a player as well so he obviously means a lot to me.’
Tuchel’s reign begins tonight at Stamford Bridge with an important Premier League encounter against Wolves, in which spirit and togetherness will be key.
‘We have to put things to the back of our heads and look forward now,’ added Mount. ‘As players, as a team and as a club, we have to stick together and hopefully get back to winning ways because that’s what this club is all about.
‘It’s a difficult time but that’s when the strong characters within the group come out and lead us in the right direction. We have to be strong because there are massive games coming up and we need to attack them.’