Chelsea footballer Mateo Kovacic, who has been one of the club’s best player this season in the midfield alongside Jorginho, praised manager Frank Lampard and said that he wants to plant a winning mentality among the players.
“Now I see why he (Lampard) was such a great player. His mentality is really strong. That’s what he wants to bring to us: to have a strong mentality, a winning mentality,” Kovacic was quoted as saying on the official website of Chelsea football club.
Stressing on the importance for the players to try and learn from their manager, the Croatian termed the former Chelsea player as the ‘perfect teacher’.
“He has a great connection with every player. He is a great guy, he likes to joke, he likes to laugh. He’s the perfect teacher for us. We need to learn from him, and for now we are enjoying it, he is as well enjoying it, so it’s a nice connection,” he said.
Chelsea, hit by a transfer ban before the season and the departure of Eden Hazard, have shown great determination to be in the top tier of the Premier League and have fetched positive results in the Champions League as well.
Adding academy graduates and youth prospects like Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Fikayo Tomori and Christian Pulisic with the experience of Willian, Jorginho and Kante, Lampard has built a potent unit that look more than capable to face any European giant.
However in place of Kante, who has been sidelined for most part of the season due to injuries, Kovacic has filled the void in the midfield.
The 25-year-old has done his job to utmost perfection and not let his manager miss the French World Cup winner. To sum up his brilliance at the midfield, Kovacic has highest successful dribble rate in Premier League in this season so far.
However, despite all the match-winnings displays, his ability to score goals has been questioned. Worth mentioning, he has not seen the back of the net, neither for his country or the club, since January 2017.
That doesn’t seem to worry him much as he said there’s no pressure on him to score goals. “I never had the pressure to score goals, I was never obsessed because my game is not about goals, but obviously if I want to go to the next step I need to improve it,” he said.
Kovacic again mentioned his manager and how he inspires him to think positive and asks him to take his chances whenever he gets one on the field.
“The coach was the greatest goalscoring midfielder that ever played. There were many, but he really scored a lot of goals. He tells me always that I need to shoot. Now I am trying more,” Kovacic added.