• Mount refuses to rule out EPL title tilt

    Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount believes the Blues could challenge for the Premier League title this season.

    Frank Lampard’s side have taken 18 points from the last 18 available in the top flight, with Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace moving them into third place on the table.

    Chelsea are level on points with Leicester in second, although they remain eight behind Liverpool following Jurgen Klopp’s side’s 3-1 defeat of Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday.

    The Blues remain outsiders for the championship despite their fine recent form, but Mount believes his team can continue to thrive away from the scrutiny.

    And the Chelsea midfielder highlighted the family feel at Stamford Bridge by revealing that he and his colleagues were keen to find out how one of the club’s youth teams had got on before the first-team game against Palace.

    ‘Even before the game, we were looking at the U18s score, away at Tottenham,’ he said. ‘They were 4-0 up after 20-something minutes, so we focused on our game, but we’re watching the academy boys as well, because we were there not long ago. It’s like a proper club.

    ‘With all of us young boys, he [Lampard] has given us the chance to step up and prove that we are ready. To me, Tammy [Abraham], Fikayo [Tomori], Reece [James], you’re not given it, you have to show you’re ready. When the day comes that you’re given the chance to play at Stamford Bridge, you have to show you’re ready to step up.

    ‘At the start of the season we knew what we had in the squad. We knew the quality. We knew the young players coming through would make the step up.

    ‘It starts from when the gaffer first came in. He set goals to be at the top of the league. We knew what we wanted from him. We wanted to be at the top of the league, to be in contention, because we knew what qualities we had in the squad.

    ‘We knew that because of the transfer ban the pressure would be off us a bit. So we decided to go at it full tilt and see where we go.’

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