Christian Pulisic knows he’s fallen down the pecking order when it comes to attacking wide-men at Stamford Bridge, but has decided to work hard and not complain, writes Paul Lagan.
The 21-year-old- American, who was bought from German outfit Borussia Dortmund in the summer for £58million, had a run out off the bench at Southampton on Sunday.
He said: “I did the best I could with the minutes I got. I tried to help the team as best I could.
“I guess I’m happy but I going to keep working harder, and I’m never going to stop to try to get more minutes.”
To compound his difficult start at SW6, he was also left out of the Champions league squad by head coach Frank Lampard.
Of that he said: “Of course. You want to play, be on the field and be in the team as much as you can and it hurt not to be there but I’m happy I got my opportunity against Southampton.”
When on the pitch he has created four goals – he happy with that.
“That’s my job,” he said.
“I’m in an attacking role and I’m going to do the best I can, to try to get goals and assists. I think that’s been good so far, so I just want to continue to work hard.”
So has it been tough not starting?
He said: “It’s tough to say. I want to be starting, I want to be starting every game. I’m working hard in training, I want to be there, I hope everyone can see that, so with moments like this I hope I can make a case for myself.
“Frank Lampard likes players who work very hard and show a lot in training and I just have to continue to do that, do my best in training and try to earn my position.”
Lampard has said that it can be difficult settling into a different culture – Pulisic is not sure it applies to him.
“Culture-wise, it’s been easier than Germany to be honest,” he said. From the football side, I guess you could say that. Obviously, I haven’t been getting as many minutes as I would like.
I will just keep going, keep pushing. I know my time’s going to come.”
“I’m not just going to throw a fit and give up ever, so if I’m on the bench it doesn’t mean the gaffer doesn’t think I’m a part of the team, I’ve just got to keep pushing and earn my spot.”
The transfer fee dos not weight on his shoulders.
He said: “This number doesn’t mean anything to me. Obviously, I go out and try to give my best every time I’m on the pitch. I’m not sure what the price tag means to you, but I just have to keep trying to perform at my best for myself and for the team.”
The internatuional break means the American can get away from London and play some games.
“Yeah, definitely. When I go there I definitely want to go in an get minutes and just gain more international experience. It can only help me here.”
He is however aware of criticism.
“You can’t completely ignore it. I don’t live under a rock,” he said.
“I hear things, I see things, but I do my best to block it out. I’m just working hard for myself. The outside opinions don’t matter as much to me as to what’s in the team and myself and the people who care about me. So I’m just going to keep working and do my best and not worry about it.”
“It’s been great. Competition in the team can only make me better and I think that’s what makes teams, it’s guys who are maybe not the second or third man, but they are pushing each other in training every single day. That’s what a good team is all about.”