Thursday 19 September 2019

Mount can cope with being in spotlight, says Chelsea boss Lampard

The midfielder was called up to the England squad this week.

Mason Mount is celebrating an England call-up (Steven Paston/PA)
Mason Mount is celebrating an England call-up (Steven Paston/PA)

By Mark Mann-Bryans, PA

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard believes Mason Mount will be able to deal with the increased scrutiny after starting the season in fine form and earning an England call-up as a result.

The 20-year-old has scored twice for the Blues having started all three opening Premier League games.

Mount, who played under Lampard while on loan at Derby last year, has previously been included in senior England squads but is yet to make his debut.

England manager Gareth Southgate is a big fan of Mount and invited him to train with his World Cup squad ahead of the tournament last summer.

Speaking after calling Mount up for the forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifying double-header against Bulgaria and Kosovo, Southgate said the Chelsea man has been “one of the outstanding players” in the Premier League so far this season.

Lampard insists he knows the player well enough to predict he will not be affected by such achievements at this stage of his career.

I'm confident in his strength of character, desire and hunger. Those things won't affect him. Frank Lampard

“We’re delighted for Mason, it is great recognition,” he said of Mount’s England inclusion.

“He had it (a call-up) at Derby but missed out with injury. He was potentially in contention to start, so he hasn’t had his chance yet. So I’m delighted he’s got this chance again.

“I’m not concerned about it, I spoke about this after Norwich. I’m confident in his strength of character, desire and hunger. Those things won’t affect him.

“Everyone has to keep their feet on the ground to a degree, he first and foremost. I think he will as it’s only the start for him in terms of his Chelsea career.

“But I’m confident he will take the responsibility that comes with it and keep working, because that is what is important now.”

Mount is expected to retain his place in Lampard’s side when they welcome newly-promoted Sheffield United to Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

One player who definitely will not be involved is N’Golo Kante, the midfielder also missing out on the latest France squad as Lampard looks for him to regain fitness over the international break.

“N’Golo Kante is not fit but to the continuation of his ankle problem and he won’t be travelling with the France squad either,” Lampard said.

“I had a conversation with (France head coach) Didier Deschamps and we both agreed it’s the best thing for him. Let’s try and get him fit over the break.

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N’Golo Kante is battling an ankle injury (Adam Davy/PA)

“It’s a setback, of course. My focus is then to make sure he’s OK. He’s had four years of constant football at an incredibly high energy and output level.

“We have to get that right. It’s the right thing to do, we have a strong squad and the performance last week was very good. We have to be strong as a squad and hopefully we’ll show that.”

Pedro will also miss out after injuring his hamstring in the warm-up ahead of the 3-2 win at Norwich, while Callum Hudson-Odoi remains absent.

PA Media

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