Following the departure of Jorginho in January and the injury-enforced absences of César Azpilicueta Thiago Silva, it’s been Mateo Kovačić who’s taken the captain’s armband for Chelsea over the past three games. That Chelsea are a perfect three-for-three under his captaincy is correlation rather than causation, but the mood in and around the club certainly has improved.
And that’s been the case in the dressing room as well, as Mateo reflected upon after yesterday’s win at Leicester City, which even featured a rare goal from him.
“It’s nice to score and I’m really happy to help the team but for me, the most important thing is getting the three points.
“[...] Over the past week, we’ve shown a lot of character to record three important wins. [We] knew we needed to step up and like Chelsea, we always do. We know we still have a lot of work to do because we are not in a good position for this club, but it’s a lot more positive to know that we are now winning points and performing a lot better.”
Graham Potter had insisted that the players never lost heart even when the night was the darkest, but of course everything’s easier and better when we’re winning. It’s all just sporting clichés anyway.
The key now is to keep it going where it matters the most, on the pitch and on the scoreboard.
“The challenge now is to make sure we put in performances like this on a consistent basis and continue to move up the table.”
-Mateo Kovačić; source: Chelsea FC
Indeed. Another relegation-battling team are next, with Everton coming to town on Saturday. Perfect opportunity to keep it going, to keep building momentum and positivity.