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Zouma lauds ‘talented’ Chelsea group, wants them to remain focused

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Happy with the win

AFC Ajax v Chelsea FC: Group H - UEFA Champions League Photo by Ricardo Nogueira/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

Aside from a rocky start to the season, Frank Lampard’s Chelsea are doing quite well for themselves thus far. Despite the loss of a generational talent in Eden Hazard to Real Madrid in the summer, and being unable to bring a direct replacement from the market due to a transfer ban, the young manager has got in his squad plenty of talent to compensate the Belgian star’s absence.

Chelsea’s 1-0 victory over Ajax in the Champions League last night, that also extended our current winning streak to six games, was further proof of how Frank’s plan of mixing young talent with title-winning veterans is paying off well for us. Something that defender Kurt Zouma, whose wealth of experience at age 24 might put him somewhere in the middle of both groups, was keen to highlight after our performance in Amsterdam.

“We have a very talented group and everyone in this team can play. The manager makes choices and it is good for [Michy Batshuayi] to come and score to give us the win.

“But also Christian Pulisic, he didn’t score but he came on and had a great game also. Everyone is going the same way. That’s why we are getting wins.”

At the same time, Chelsea were playing Frank’s plan on the pitch note-for-note. The manager himself saw last night’s victory as a ‘blueprint’ to follow from here on out, with Zouma giving props to his teammates for their ability to follow the boss’ instructions.

“Tactically, we respected the plan from the manager. Everybody was ­listening to the plan, everybody stuck with the plan. Everybody has been working hard — credit to the team.”

One thing that could undo all of our great work thus far is complacency from overconfidence. Zouma is well aware of these risks, and he does not want Chelsea to suffer from them. Instead, he called for his teammates to keep their focus on maintaining the mix of good performances, good results and good vibes at the club.

“That win was a big statement against a great team. We are very confident now, but it is also dangerous when you are too confident, so we need to stay focused on what we can do and what we have to do.”

-Kurt Zouma; Source: London Evening Standard

That is the way to do it!