Chelsea boss Mauricio Pochettino hopes Mykhailo Mudryk’s is not too seriously injured after being forced off at half-time, having ended a run of 24 games without finding the net in the 2-0 win over Fulham.
Mudryk, who has struggled since his move to Stamford Bridge in January, opened the scoring in the first half with a confident finish but had to come off due to a thigh injury at the break.
Chelsea, who are already without a host of players including Ben Chilwell, Reece James, Wesley Fofana and Christopher Nkunku, produced their most complete performance under Pochettino, with Armando Broja adding the second goal just 80 seconds after Mudryk’s strike.
“He felt something in his quad and I hope it is not a big issue and he can keep playing,” Pochettino said.
The win was only Chelsea’s second in the league this season but followed last week’s 1-0 victory over Brighton in the Carabao Cup and Pochettino said confidence is building among his players – especially Mudryk.
“It is a case of maturity and we have to understand it a massive change for him.” he said.
“I think when you arrive in a new team it is not always easy to settle and, being honest, too many young players are not solid and need to be patient and trust themselves.
“This is a massive job, but it is step-by-step job. When we didn’t win at the start of the season we were calm and kept the belief and stayed positive.
“Now we have won two games we have to stay calm and keep improving and build the belief and confidence.”
Fulham boss Marco Silva said his side were not aggressive in midfield in the first half and bemoaned errors that led to both goals, with Issa Diop losing the flight of a pass from Levi Colwill that played in Mudryk.
Tim Ream then surrendered the ball to Cole Palmer on the edge of his own box for Broja’s goal just 82 seconds later
“It was a disappointing result for us, and they started intense from the first moment and our first half display was not aggressive enough,” Silva said.
“Even our first pressure didn’t work they created problems for us in midfield but the game was balanced before the scored the first goal.”
“But we need to do a lot better for both goals.”