Chelsea captain and defender Cesar Azpilicueta has defended the club’s young starlets Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount after fierce criticism from Jose Mourinho following the club’s 4-0 loss to Manchester United on Sunday August 11th.
Mourinho, who is working as a pundit on Sky Sports, said he was surprised that new manager Frank Lampard decided to pick the youngsters instead of more experienced players. But AFP reported that Azpilicueta made it clear he disagreed with his former manager’s statements.
"If they are here it is because they deserve to be. They are fighting in every training session. We trust in them," Azpilicueta said.
"All the boys, they train to play for the Chelsea first team since they were young and now we have a massive opportunity to create a fantastic group, to learn from every game.
"Obviously everyone would like to start in a better way but we have to face the reality and become stronger from it."
Chelsea started brightly at Old Trafford as they hit the post early on through Tammy Abraham. Soon after they fell behind after Marcus Rashford’s penalty but still looked strong throughout the first half. After conceding a second goal to Anthony Martial early in the second-half, the team eventually collapsed and ended up losing 4-0.
Azpilicueta urged the Chelsea players to pick themselves up and focus on Wednesday’s European Super Cup final against Liverpool. "We know that Chelsea always fights for everything. When you don't win, the questions around get more and more but we have to cope with it," he said.
"We know that playing for Chelsea requires your best effort in every game so we have to learn from the game.
"We know that we can improve. We have to face it, take the responsibility and move forward. We have a trophy to fight for on Wednesday against a good team and we have to be ready for it."