Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pulisic: I Won't Have a Strop and Just Give Up. I'll Keep Pushing to Earn My Spot

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pulisic: I Won't Have a Strop and Just Give Up. I'll Keep Pushing to Earn My Spot

Article excerpt

Byline: James Olley at St Mary's Stadium

Southampton 1 Ings 30 Chelsea 4 Abraham 17, Mount 24, Kante 40, Batshuayi 89 CHRISTIAN PULISIC today admitted he has been unable to ignore criticism of his slow start at Chelsea, but insisted the PS58million price tag is not weighing on his shoulders.

The 21-year-old's late cameo as an 80th-minute substitute in yesterday's 4-1 win at Southampton was only his fifth Premier League appearance since joining the Blues from Borussia Dortmund in the summer.

Pulisic assisted fellow substitute Michy Batshuayi's 89th-minute goal which completed a comfortable afternoon for the visitors. Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount put Frank Lampard's side 2-0 ahead, before Danny Ings struck, only for N'Golo Kante to increase Chelsea's lead five minutes before half-time.

Callum Hudson-Odoi impressed on his first League start since April, following Achilles surgery, adding to Lampard's options in wide areas -- a competition for places which has restricted Pulisic's playing time.

Concerning his struggle to make an impact, 21-year-old Pulisic said: "You can't completely ignore it. I don't live under a rock. 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, myself and the people who care about me. I'm just going to keep working and do my best and not worry about it.

"This number [PS58m] 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."

Pulisic showed his potential with a fine display in the UEFA Super Cup Final defeat to Liverpool but has started just three games since, with Lampard currently favouring Willian, Pedro, Mount and now Hudson-Odoi ahead of him. Chelsea's head coach claimed "anyone getting too excited" about Pulisic's frustrations should "calm down", pointing out the American needed time to acclimatise to life in a new country and that he is a similar age to many of the club's other young players given the chance to develop, including Mount, Abraham and Fikayo Tomori, who will all join up with Gareth Southgate's England squad this week. …

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