When Francis Coquelin’s studs sunk into Mason Mount’s ankle last Tuesday as he followed through on a tackle, everyone was expecting the worst outcome, especially given the ongoing injury crisis at Chelsea.
Mount himself was quite fearful that his ankle would become a long-term issue. Fortunately, that was not the case, and he was able to not only start but complete the full 90 minutes against Liverpool on Sunday.
“As soon as I did it, in my head I thought it would be a long-term injury. We iced it and we let it calm down a bit. Then we realised it wasn’t as bad as I first thought. The next day I was kind of jogging on it a little bit. Then I knew there was a chance of being involved. Obviously, there was swelling and there is still swelling there now, but it is solid.
“It felt good when I trained the day before the game, so I was pretty positive leading up to the game that I could be involved.”
Unfortunately, Mount’s performance against the league leaders was not quite up to par, and it included a massive missed chance at the very end of the game that could’ve / should’ve been the well-deserved equalizer for Chelsea.
The 20-year-old was adamant however afterwards that it did not affect him on the shot, or on the day overall. (Ed.note: of course, admitting otherwise would not be a good look for either him or his head coach...)
“No, not at all. I think you have got to block that out of your head and to just try to focus on the game. When I had that chance at the end, which I thought I should have scored, I rolled my ankle a bit. It still felt fine afterwards.
“It was fine. It was good throughout the game. It felt solid, so it was alright.”
Despite being one of the youngest and least experienced members of the squad, Mount has started all seven matches so far, including the UEFA Super Cup. It is truly a testament of the massive backing he has from Frank Lampard, backing, which in fairness, he’s been repaying almost every time out and keeping the likes of Ross Barkley, Christian Pulisic, and Pedro on the bench.
“No, [I didn’t expect such a prominent role]. I thought I would try and work hard, learn off the boys and work my way into the team. Obviously, for me, going into pre-season, that was my main focus. To show the manager that I was ready, even though I didn’t think I would be starting the games. But showing him that I was ready to come on and prove to him that I can start games.”
“But starting games at the beginning is a massive confidence builder and yeah, I’ve been loving it and just learning from each game, every day in training. It’s games like this [against Liverpool] where you learn the most and that’s what you play football for. So I’m loving every minute and loving the game.”
-Mason Mount; source: The Telegraph
Having been one of the first names on the team sheet up to this point, Mount’s likely to take a bit of a breather coming up on Wednesday, in the League Cup, when Lampard’s expected to rotate the squad. Hopefully that will give his ankle enough time to truly heal as well and be ready for Brighton on Saturday.