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Jorginho ready to keep improving, keep pushing beyond his back pain

Into the breach, many more times

Chelsea v Leeds United - Premier League Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Jorginho has been (seemingly) the only midfielder fit and available consistently this season, and in fact he has nearly as many minutes (1550) as Mateo Kovačić (1100) and N’Golo Kanté (700) combined. And while he’s usually been among the minutes leaders since joining Chelsea, his efforts this season have been even more impressive considering the lack of a proper summer break due to the Euros.

Those miles have certainly taken their toll, both mentally with a few big mistakes creeping (back) into his play, and physically with constant back pain that he has to manage — with few opportunities for rest thanks to injuries and form considerations elsewhere.

The Vice-captain was indeed back in the starting lineup on Saturday, gutting out another 90 minutes, and crowning it with not one but two coolly taken penalties, with the second coming in added-on time to rescue all three points for the Blues. Afterwards, Jorginho confirmed that his back remains a concern, but that he’s continuing to push past it. Whatever it takes.

Leeds are a tough opponent, but in the end we deserved the win. This last-minute goal is just amazing, especially in your own stadium. It feels so good. It is exhausting playing [them].

“My back is not in the best condition but when you need to push yourself even more to help your team it’s what you have to do. It’s hard but you have to do it. It’s the best thing you can do.”

Jorginho’s heroics may have helped win the day — just like Antonio Rüdiger’s did — but Chelsea’s play remains far from perfect. With an extra day of rest this week, hopefully we can get back to playing with a bit more control and a bit lot more security in the days and weeks to come.

I miss the days of not having to have a heart attack in the final ten minutes of every game.

“It was very important to win after our last two games [but] we can always give more. If we think we gave an extra 10 per cent then we have no more to improve on, and that is not the mentality we have here. We always need to want to improve and do more, but we did our job, we needed these three points and we got them. On to the next.”

-Jorginho; source: Chelsea FC

Next is a home game against a struggling Everton side on Thursday night, by which time league-leaders Manchester City will have played their next game already.