Mason Mount says the confidence he gained from knowing the England manager was watching was a factor in producing the performances that earned him a first England call-up.
Mount, on loan at Championship side Derby from Chelsea, has been a regular for Frank Lampard’s team this season having spent last term playing for the Blues’ feeder team Vitesse in the Netherlands. Five goals in 11 games have helped propel him into Gareth Southgate’s squad for the up-coming Nations League games against Croatia and Spain.
The Portsmouth-born midfielder’s call-up comes despite being yet to make an appearance for Chelsea in the Premier League.
“It’s something I’m going to remember for a very, very long time,” Mount told Derby’s club website.
“It gives you confidence during the game [to know the England manager is watching]. But I just focused on the game and how I could influence the game.” Southgate was at Pride Park to watch the Rams play Blackburn in September.
“When I got the message I had to read it a couple of times to take the words in. But I just try to focus on football. We’ve got QPR coming up and that’s the most important thing for me at the moment. Then whatever happens in the international break, happens.
Mount’s call-up comes alongside fellow international first-timers Jadon Sancho and James Maddison, although both players have racked up first-team experience with Borussia Dortmund and Leicester respectively. Sancho has appeared twice in this season’s Champions League.
But on-loan Mount feels prepared for the step-up to the international ranks, despite playing his football outside of the top flight.
“Two tough games,” he said. “It’s obviously great experience for me. I think I have to say thank you to the gaffer… all the staff here at Derby. And the players as well. Without them, without the way we play, the way we have been playing, I wouldn’t be in this position right now.”
“It’s tough [in the Championship]. Sometimes you’re playing three games in a week, then you have to get the recovery in. There’s experienced, older players in this league.”