Mount: Tuchel lit a fire inside me after axing me out

Mason Mount has credited Thomas Tuchel for lighting a fire inside him as he reflected on the axing that has helped shape his season.

The Chelsea midfielder is in outstanding form and has been a key player for the German manager in his first three months at Stamford Bridge, with the high point being his winning goal against Liverpool at Anfield earlier this month.

Tuchel put himself in the spotlight immediately after replacing Frank Lampard in January when he put Mount on the bench for his first game against Wolves but the 22-year-old feels that turned out to be one of the best things that could have happened.

'I've had that experience before,' said Mount, who will win his 14th England cap when he starts against San Marino tonight. 'I was on loan at Vitesse Arnhem when I was 18, 19. That first couple of months I didn't play hardly at all.

'I had that motivation and that fire to want to get into the team. The first game with the manager coming in, he went for a more experienced team. I understood that and wanted to get back into the team, so that motivation and that fire that I have inside me came out.

'I really tried to push to get back into the team. It's been brilliant. We are working very hard. We've had tough games in this last period but we have come through it. It's exciting stuff, we continue to work hard. It's been a great start.'

Mount has had to face criticisms that he was a regular for England and Chelsea because Gareth Southgate and Frank Lampard had held him in such high regard but the reality is something; he has been in because his form has been consistently high.

The clamour for Jack Grealish and Phil Foden to start ahead of him at the European Championships is unlikely to go away but Mount – who was one of England's best performers in the autumn internationals – says the competition between them can benefit club and country.

'We all know how good (Grealish and Foden) are,' said Mount. 'There are so many good players in this team and players who are not here at the moment with us. We just want to continue to be the best we can be. We always work hard.

'Jack, Phil… I've seen them do brilliant things and it motivates me to continue to do well. We all understand how many good players there are in this team. It excites us as players as we all have that same goal of winning things and doing great things with our country.

'That's the most important thing. We all have ambitions to win major trophies at England and at club level. We are competing at club level but when we are at England we are together. We're in a good place. Coming to England, I'm feeling confident and as a group we know what we can achieve.'

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