Tomori: we are always covering each others’ backs

BY PAUL LAGAN
paul@slpmedia.co.uk­

Fikayo Tomori is working so well with centre-back partner Kurt Zouma, that head coach Frank Lampard is going to have a difficult decision to make when Toni Rudiger and Andreas Christensen return to full fitness.

Until then, Canadian-born Tomori just keeps on playing, and playing well.

The Blues faced Manchester United last night in the Carabao Cup, and we went to press before the result was known.

Speaking after Saturday’s impressive 4-2 away win at Burnley, Tomori said: “Yeah, it’s been a good week, a great win at Ajax and now at Burnely – so we’re feeling positive about ourselves.”

The Blues were 4-0 up until they conceded two late goals.

“Our concentration went a bit,” he revealed.

“At 4-0, we’ve tried to see the game out, but a couple of mistakes and then they kind of punished us. It was a good strike for the first goal to be fair and second goal I think that we’re disappointed to concede.”

The partnership with French international Kurt Zouma has been a feature of the west Londoners’ recent good form.

Tomori said: “Yeah, it is going well. We’ve had two clean sheets before Burnley. We’ve been building that partnership and understanding more and more.

“Obviously it would have been nice to keep a clean sheet but we feel like we are getting stronger with Kepa as well. I’m enjoying it.”

So how important is the understanding between the other three defenders?

“It helps a lot because you can take your position from what they are going to do, and they can take theirs from what you are going to do,” he said.

“You are always covering each other’s back, it makes it a lot easier. Communication grows each game, that is very important and it helps the whole team.”

The other big winner at Turf Moor was USA winger Christian Pulisic who helped himself to the perfect hat-trick – his first goals for the club.

Tomori said of the player who has had to wait this season for a chance to shine. Everyone is disappointed when they don’t play.

“In our team we have got a lot of talented players so you just have to be patient and when you get your chance you have just got to take it like he has, and the last two games when he has come on and changed the game.

“I am really happy for him and I think that patience and hard work showed in training has paid off.

“I think that we have a lot of competition for places in the team. You have got to be on top of your game, not only in the games but in training as well.

“The fact that Christian has come in, it is good for the whole team because everyone has to be on their toes.

“No one knows their position is safe and that drives the team on and brings the best out of each individual.

“Callum (Hudson-Odoi) was rested and Christian comes in and scores a hat-trick. That is going to raise Callum’s game and then Christian is going to want to keep raising his game to stay in the team. It is good for everyone.

“There was a lot of talk about his price tag (£58million from Borussia Dortmund), but he is a talented player. You can see that.

“We have a young team, exciting team and we all try and help each other out as the games go on, in training.

The experienced players as well try and help us out. We don’t feel like we are young players, we are just trying to improve ourselves and to keep our places in the team.

It is a first team environment so we have to be men about it and play like men.”

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