Mason Mount: Thomas Tuchel will 'keep pushing' Chelsea midfielder after man-of-the-match display vs Spurs

Mason Mount has started Chelsea's last two games after he was left out of Thomas Tuchel's first starting XI; Tuchel explained that initial omission and said the England international can still improve following his man-of-the-match display at Tottenham

Mason Mount, Thomas Tuchel 1:10
Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel says 'team player' Mason Mount has 'a lot of room to improve' and will not be guaranteed a starting role

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel said he will continue to push Mason Mount to improve after his man-of-the-match display against Tottenham on Thursday night.

Jorginho's penalty handed Tuchel his first away win, with Mount starting in Chelsea's forward line along with Callum Hudson-Odoi and Timo Werner.

Mount was a regular starter under former Chelsea boss Frank Lampard, but eyebrows had been raised when then England international was omitted from Tuchel's first starting XI against Wolves last month.

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However, the 22-year-old has gone on to start their next two Premier League games, and while Tuchel said there are no guarantees going forward - with a trip to Sheffield United next on Sunday, live on Sky Sports - the Chelsea boss was full of praise for both Mount's quality and personality.

"To Mason, I cannot tell you where his limit is," Tuchel said. "I don't want to put a limit to his development. It is obvious he has a lot of potential. Besides that he's a great footballer he's a super nice guy, he's eager to learn, he is hungry to win, he is open-minded.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Chelsea's win against Tottenham in the Premier League

"He can perform under any manager. This is the best thing, he really means it, he has this internal motivation and he's a very nice guy. Big personality, what [more] can you wish for?"

He added: "That [quality] was very clear before, because we watched the team and [under] Frank [he] was a regular starter. [For] Frank there was no doubt he's a team player, and he has the potential that he has.

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"We didn't choose him for the first game because we opted for a slightly different profile in the two No.10 positions. When he came in he showed what a big influence he can have also from the bench.

"From here there are no guarantees for nobody, also not for Mason. Right now, it's easy with him, he leaves his heart out there on the pitch but everybody else does the same thing. It's a team effort and Mason is the first to agree on that and to behave like that.

"This is what we need. Is there room to improve? Yes. Is there a lot of room to improve? Yes. There are no gifts, he has to earn his place in every training and every match. The boy is a super nice guy and he knows about it, he is a competitor. That's why we'll keep on pushing him like all the others."

Thomas Tuchel embraced Mason Mount at full-time after Chelsea beat Spurs 1-0
Image: Thomas Tuchel embraced Mason Mount at full-time after Chelsea beat Spurs 1-0

Tuchel also explained that his embrace with Mount at full-time was to express his delight with the England international's performance, but also featured words of advice.

"I was just happy that we won, and happy with his performance," Tuchel said. "You can be very sure that Mase leaves his heart on the pitch for Chelsea. This is what we need. He's an absolute team player and he's still young.

"He has still room to improve, but I told him don't worry. Of course you can be more decisive and even more dangerous with your decisions in the last 20 metres of the match, but if you have to suffer, we suffer, and then we defend.

"For that, I am very, very happy with his performances and I told the team, this is a good feeling, if things get complicated or are not too easy with a second or third goal, we have to experience moments where we can finish a moment like this.

"We played with Mason coming from a No 9 and dropping to a No 10 position, because we wanted to have two wide strikers and find Mason the spaces in between the lines. He did good."

'How many teams in top-four race? I cannot care less'

The victory over Spurs lifted Chelsea up to sixth in the table and puts them four points behind fourth-placed Liverpool.

Three teams behind Chelsea - Everton, Spurs and Aston Villa - all have games in hand which could move them above the Blues, but in the pursuit for Champions League football Tuchel said he could not control matters that are out of his hands.

When asked how many teams could be involved in the top-four race, Tuchel replied: "I cannot care less, because I cannot influence other results and I cannot influence what the other teams do.

"I know there are too many teams between us and the Champions League places. It is maybe boring for you guys, but I simply know no other approach than to take it step by step. The most important is that we don't lose focus, take care about the guys who were not on the pitch, and to take care about our quality and atmosphere in the dressing room, that we are able to compete again on Sunday.

"Maybe we need some changes to be sharp again, and physical again, in the next away game against a strong and physical Sheffield side. This is all we focus on, the rest we have no influence on."

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