‘He’s given me a problem’: Frank Lampard admits Mason Mount has pressed his claim to start Chelsea’s Premier League opener at Old Trafford
- Mason Mount impressed once again in Chelsea’s 2-2 draw at Borussia Park
- The Blues had fought back from two down against Borussia Moenchengladbach
- ‘I couldn’t ask for more from what Mason has done,’ Chelsea boss Lampard said
Frank Lampard insisted that Chelsea will have to raise their game at Old Trafford next weekend after a 2-2 draw at Borussia Moenchengladbach, but was full of praise for Mason Mount, who capped a fine pre-season with an excellent performance at Borussia Park.
Chelsea looked horribly exposed in midfield in the first half as the home side ran up a 2-0 lead yet they recovered with a much better second-half performance which saw two penalties, scored by Tammy Abraham and Ross Barkley, secure the draw.
It was Mount’s quick feet and agile change of direction which fooled Keanan Bennetts to win the later penalty on 85 minutes, which Barkley stuck in off the post to earn Chelsea a deserved draw against the Europa League qualifiers.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was impressed with the performance of starlet Mason Mount
And the 20-year-old, who played under Lampard on loan at Derby last season, is now pressing his claims to start at Old Trafford after an afternoon of intelligent pressing, incisive passing and close control.
‘He’s done a lot,’ said Lampard. ‘Obviously I worked with him last year and I’m really happy with how he’s training, how he’s playing and his status in the group coming back here. The players recognise quality instantly but they also recognise work rate and character and Mason has all of those.
‘He’s given me a problem. Ross Barkley had also had a good pre-season and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be back later on and it’s good, as they’re all adaptable. It doesn’t have to be just one. They can play in a variety of positions. I couldn’t ask for more from what Mason has done.’
N’Gole Kante played his first minutes since the Europa League final having flown home for more treatment on his knee injury during the tour of Japan and survived 17 minutes of reasonably intense football.
Lampard highlighted his midfield options as a positive after the 2-2 draw at Borussia Park
‘N’Golo is working a little bit more now [after the game] and it was just to give him the feeling of match time, as it’s been awkward with his injury,’ said Lampard.
‘I wanted him to feel it and us to see it. Who knows if he can be fit for next weekend or not? We’ll work hard for that. But we have to be a bit careful because he’s played so many games over the last three seasons. We don’t want to rush him back.’
Lampard says he pretty much knows his starting line-up for next weekend’s Premier League opener, but will keep an open mind this week as he finalises preparation for his Premier League managerial debut.
Chelsea battled back from two goals down to secure a pre-season draw against Gladbach
He added: ‘It’s a long week and I think players have to train very day to get themselves in the team. Or get themselves out of the team! The door isn’t shut. I think it’s been a good pre-season. We’ve done some hard work and had some good results.
‘And when you’re new as a manager you have to try to get your new ideas across as quickly as possible. The team will have a certain way they’re used to playing and mine and the staff’s job this last month has been to get out message across. And I think we’ve done that.
‘I have a good feeling after today’s game. I didn’t like the first half but the second half, with the chances we created we should have won the game comfortably. It was a nice way to finish pre-season but we still need to stay focused as Manchester United in the Premier League is obviously a different animal.’
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